Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mayhem Continues At The Grove Locations Near College Campuses Around The Country

Student riot at the
 University of Maine

Roughly 40 college towns around the country have welcomed The Grove, even though the company behind the student-housing complexes has a documented history of lax security, shoddy workmanship, and poor management.

We have shown that The Grove sites are plagued with general mayhem, including a homicide, shootings, and car jackings. Now we can add a riot to the list of "fully loaded" activities that Campus Crest Communities touts for its student residents. (See video at the end of this post.)

Campus Crest, the company behind The Grove brand, has a special interest for us here at Legal Schnauzer. For one, the company has a major presence in our home base of Alabama, with four sites around the state--at the University of South Alabama, Troy University, Jacksonville State University, and Auburn University. Also, Campus Crest CEO Ted Rollins played a leading role in an Alabama divorce case styled Rollins v. Rollins, which we have called the worst courtroom cheat job in our experience.

Ted Rollins has left a trail of mayhem in his personal life, causing his ex wife (Birmingham resident Sherry Carroll Rollins) and their two daughters to wind up on food stamps--even though Mr. Rollins owns multiple private jet craft and heads a company that completed a $380-million Wall Street IPO in 2010. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Mr. Rollins' student-housing complexes tend to attract ugly activities.

The latest example comes from The Grove location at the University of Maine, which opened in September for the 2012-13 academic year. The complex was the site a couple of months ago for what the Bangor Daily News described as "near riot conditions." From the newspaper's account:

Multiple police agencies descended on a brand new apartment complex in Orono on Saturday and Sunday nights to break up parties that drew at least 300-400 people to a single parking lot. State police later said in a website posting that the party created “near riot conditions.” 
The Grove, owned by North Carolina-based Campus Crest Communities Inc., opened this past weekend, welcoming its first batch of University of Maine students. The facility, located a half-mile from the Rangeley Road entrance to the university, has room for 620 tenants.

What was the scene like? From the Daily News:

Just hours after The Grove residents began moving in, police were called to the area around Building 12 about 11 p.m. Saturday in response to a series of noise complaints made by other Grove tenants and residents on Park Street. 
Police arrived to find between 300 and 400 men and women crowded together in the parking lot around Building 12, Orono police Capt. Josh Ewing said Tuesday afternoon. 
Ewing said police arrived to find hundreds of people “drinking, yelling and listening to music.”

A spokesman for Campus Crest Communities said the company will enhance security at the Maine site. That's ironic because we tried to conduct an interview with Ted Rollins about security issues after a woman was murdered at The Grove near Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. Rollins did not respond to our request for an interview.

Security isn't the only issue at The Grove locations. A balcony collapse at the University of North Texas led to serious injuries for three young people. Residents at the Maine location already are seeing signs of sloppy workmanship and poor on-site management. The Campus Crest stock price seems to be hanging in there, so maybe that's all that matters to the company's executives and investors.

Speaking of irony, Campus Crest Communities continues to use the term "fully loaded living" to advertise its student housing. That phrase, of course, carries all kinds of possible meanings. You can see what it apparently means at the University of Maine by checking out the video below:


Anonymous said...

This looks like good, clean fun.

David R said...

Is that guy skateboarding off a roof? Now that's a creative way to get brain trauma. Don't have to go to Iraq, or sign up to military, for that.

Anonymous said...

Lighten up, Schnauzer. These kids are our future.

TLR said...

Hey, the private sector built those apartments. They have to be better than anything the government could do.

Anonymous said...

this is what happens when you situate apartments NEAR a campus and not ON a campus and let 17, 18, 19 , 20 year olds live without supervision of any kind. Dorms operate smoothly because there is a counselor on each floor and a dorm mother or person in charge of the entire dorm at all times. There are no candles, lighters, hotplates or anything allowed that might start a fire either.

Campus Crest in comparison, has created college dorms for young people where ANYTHING goes and there is no one to reel anyone in for anything they decide to do. Smoking, fire hazards, candles...

So at the end of each day, drugs, alcohol, weed, and prescription drugs combine for a lethal cocktail without a bartender/counselor in the house to cut them off. This is a breeding ground for disasters and harm to the students and even the ones who prefer to stay quietly in their rooms. Parents should know better than to put these young people in harms way.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:26--

Excellent points. I do think that Campus Crest advertises that two of its properties--U of South Alabama and Colorado State--are on campus. But I don't think that means the universities play any role in managing them. Wonder if that raises interesting liability issues for those schools.

Not sure how those properties wound up on the campuses. Maybe some sort of land-swap deal?

Hard to see how The Grove is promoting "student growth."

Anonymous said...

the grove and campus crest don't seem to be promoting anything other than income for the greedy investors and their officers. The land deal at South Alabama as I understand it is $70,000 per year for the lease of the land. LS I think you hit the nail on the head about the college liability. When one of the students at the two locations which are located on the campus has an accident near or fatal, these schools are going to pay and pay big. Either way I don't think the school attorneys were in on this decision. What were they all thinking? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Also, I understand that the University of South Alabama received a million plus dollar teacher/faculty lounge donated by Campus Crest after the Grove apartments were finished. While the teachers lounge, the kids are playing and playing hard at The Grove and trouble is brewing. I work for a lawyer; we have discussed this a.m. after your post. I think you have identified an impending lawsuit.

Huey said...

The crowd keeps chanting "duet, duet, duet."

Are they wanting Mariah Carey and Kanye West to do a number together?

legalschnauzer said...

Hah, hah, Huey. My props to you. Good one.

Anonymous said...

I see no sign of any security or authority at all in this video. Ted Rollins can't spring for a few security guards at these locations? This kind of crowd can gather at The Grove, and no one checks to see who belongs there and who doesn't?

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Anonymous said...

Ted Rollins only cares about the census. How many rooms are unrented. I worked for him in the 90's; he is very supportive of his product only when he is selling it to you. After the sale, anything can happen-his attention span is not long enough to care what happens next.

Anonymous said...

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