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      Students move into apartments with delays

      Students wanting to move into the fourth phase section of Aspen Heights have delays of up to 4 to 6 weeks.

      Thousands of college students moved back to Columbia today as they prepare for the fall semester.

      This is a hectic time for parents, students, apartment managers and utility crews.

      More than 300 students started moving into Aspen Heights on Wednesday morning. That??s one of Columbia??s newest Southside student housing projects. However, more than 400 Aspen Heights residents are staying in temporary housing because of construction delays.

      More than 400 students who signed a lease with Aspen Heights are temporarily staying in hotel rooms or other Columbia complexes. Mizzou Senior Katie Reimer??s move in date has been pushed back to August 17, so she??s staying at a nearby hotel.

      Reimer said, ??Obviously, I??m disappointed. I was expecting to move in this morning, but that??s O.K. I know Aspen Heights has my best interest in mind. They don??t want me to move into a place that??s not safe.??

      Aspen Heights is a 4 phase project. Students wanting to move into the fourth phase section of the complex have delays of up to 4 to 6 weeks. Students have the option of getting cash or gift cards for their trouble.

      Aspen Heights spokesman Stuart Watkins said, ??We informed those residents about a month ago. There are about 80 who needed more of a long term type solution until they could move into their house.??

      The incoming students are also keeping Columbia utility workers busy. 12 city service workers have been working from 5:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. as they are handling more than 17,500 transfers between July 22 and August 9. They process about 1,300 requests in just one day.

      Columbia Water & Light spokeswoman Connie Kaprowicz said, ??The most important thing to do is to plan ahead. We have a great on line form that you can do. You can do it anytime of the day or night. Plan ahead. You don??t want to wait until the last minute to transfer your utility service.??

      Columbia utility officials are seeing a growing demand for utility transfers every year as more student housing becomes available. This is just the first wave of students returning to Columbia. Mizzou??s dorms officially open on August 14.