Resident assistants (RAs) and residents of The Edge, an off-campus apartment building on 42nd Street and Fletcher Avenue, across from USF, have been sent mixed messages about the future of the building.
Campus Advantage, a third-party company that has managed The Edge for about three years, will not continue managing the building because of a contractual issue, said Chip Schell, vice president of the company.
“The building should continue to operate as normal,” Schell said.
He said the owner of the building was working out details.
Residents said a memo was slipped under doors Monday, telling them that as of Friday, there will be no management controlling the building.
One RA who asked to remain anonymous said The Edge was switching management
companies only because the contract for Campus Advantage expires April 17.
“It’s nothing as drastic or serious as everyone thinks,” he said. “Everything is still running (under) the new management.”
However, some residents and RAs were told differently.
“No one knows what’s going on,” said Ian Sylvester, a resident at The Edge and USF student. “They’re getting rid of everyone.”
He said he was notified that the apartment building would not remain open for the summer or fall semesters and was not sure if the building would be renovated, torn down or left alone.
“All students are on their own,” Sylvester said. “Students are trying to scatter everywhere.”
Residents and RAs were told they would be allowed to live in the building until May 2, Sylvester said.
Another RA who requested to remain anonymous said she was told there will be no maintenance, staff or dining services — all of which were included in leases — after
6 p.m. Friday.
This also means no rules will be enforced, she said.
“We are being laid off,” she said.
She said the RAs were given two weeks notice, but some employees were notified only four days in advance.
Campus Advantage has provided financial assistance for the building about a month because the owner has been “non-responsive,” she said. Now, however, it is unwilling to continue the funding.
Another RA said he spoke with Steve Schrimsher, the owners’ representative. He said Schrimsher told him that investors lost more than $3.5 million because of embezzlement, and a bank that has already begun paying for utilities and other
expenses will own the building.
He said at least 40 employees were laid off, some of whom had worked at The Edge for many years.
“From what we were told, the last paycheck will be Friday, (April) 17,” said another RA.
If the bank does not receive any money during this time, he said, it is possible the RAs will not be paid.
Sylvester said he applied to work in the building during the summer but was unsure whether jobs at The Edge — which provides free rent and food to employees — would still be available.
When asked about room availability, a receptionist at The Edge said lease signings would be possible within the next week.
USF Housing and Residential Education officials said they could not comment on the issue at this time.
Additional reporting by Matt Ferrara