WVU Students React to Sunnyside Purchase - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

WVU Students React to Sunnyside Purchase

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MORGANTOWN -

West Virginia University's purchase of property in the Sunnyside neighborhood has the school excited, but early construction plans have some speaking out.

"Everyone's excited," said William Hutchens WVU's vice president of Legal Affairs on Friday. "We're getting wonderful feedback from the city, from the community, from the students."

Certainly, not everybody is happy.

About 130 residents are being forced to pack their bags and move out by the end of the semester.

"They just want to get rid of the parties, I guarantee that's just what it is," said sophomore student Mitchell Young. "Look at the signs, no one is happy about this."

Signs reading "Help the Homeless," "We're Not Leaving," and many more colorful ones line Grant Street in Morgantown. Students hope they're being heard.

"Our side of town, they're ruining it," said sophomore student Chris McConaghia. "It's where everyone goes to have fun and they're taking it away from us."

The new plans to bring in nearly a thousand new students to the area and update Sunnyside has a positive tone with many. It's the forced move in December that has some questioning their beloved university.

"They want a better Sunnyside, and I'm for that," said senior Kenneth Pringle. "I'm for the betterment of it, if it's good for the city of Morgantown…. But you need to worry about your students that are here right now. We're getting the short end of the stick."

For students the search for new homes has begun.

"We were looking a lot yesterday, but a lot of places are booked," said McConaghia. "But we left some messages so hopefully they'll get back to us."

The university is assisting students in the move.

WVU said it will pay the difference in new housing fees off campus and charge students their current rental rate in on-campus housing. The school is also prepared to help students move their stuff just months before graduation.

"The redevelopment plan looks very interesting, why couldn't we start construction in May?" said Pringle. "We're getting kicked out five months before our lease is up. I'm going to be out of here in May, I'm just getting a bad taste in my mouth the last five months."

Construction on the properties could begin as soon as December. Completion of the $70 million development is scheduled for fall of 2014.