NC insurance commissioner bans move-ins in unsafe university residence

The newly constructed University of North Carolina at Asheville residence halls were found unsafe.

The NC insurance commissioner has banned students from being able to move into their residences at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Five newly constructed residence halls are deemed unsafe.

The buildings were found to have issues that could pose safety and life concerns to residents.

“As insurance commissioner, safety is my top priority,” said NC insurance commissioner Mike Causey. “I will not allow anyone to live in a building that may pose a threat to their life or well-being. However, I am confident we will be able to work with the university to swiftly abate the hazards in order to allow students to move in.

Causey pointed to issues with the construction of the building. He stated that these issues mean it would not be possible for a safe evacuation to occur should there ever be a fire in the buildings.

The NC insurance commissioner has the authority to prohibit the use of the building.

Under North Carolina law, the commissioner can decide that if there is undue hazard to life, safety or property because of the usage or condition of a building owned by the state, a ban can be placed against the use of the building. This ban can be left in place until the hazard to life, safety or property is corrected.

The State Construction Office provided the guidance for the construction of the building. This guidance from the office is, by law, under the Department of Administration. Upon turning the buildings over to the university so that students could move in, the State Construction Office simultaneously turned the buildings over to the jurisdiction of the Department of Insurance.

That occurred on Wednesday. Once the Department of Insurance took responsibility over the residence halls, the NC insurance commissioner’s authority kicked in to determine whether or not the building was safe for residents. NC Insurance Commissioner - Uniersity - ResidencesCausey, the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Risk Management Division, NCDOI reps and the University of North Carolina at Asheville met on Friday, said a WYFF 4 report, to talk about this issue and about what can be done moving forward.

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