'Agreement in principle' in place to house some Virginia Tech students in hotel

University does not have enough dorms for all incoming students this fall

By Colter Anstaett - Reporter

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Come this fall, approximately 200 incoming Virginia Tech students could be staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Blacksburg for the upcoming school year, according to the university.

On Friday, 10 News was made aware of an email circulating online claiming the hotel will be closed from Aug. 10 to May 31 of next year because it will be housing students.

10 News has not been able to determine where the email came from.

When we went to the Holiday Inn and asked to book a room for Aug. 10, we were told that it was not possible because the hotel will be housing students.

Virginia Tech news and information director Mark Owczarski said he does not know how much housing the students in the hotel will cost the university or what the exact living arrangements will be because the agreement has not been finalized yet.

"Now that we have this agreement, in principle, in place now, we've got July and August to begin to work hard at creating an experience, a campus living experience, that's very similar to an on-campus experience," Owczarski said.

It's unclear what role the hotel staff would have, if any, if students stayed there.

The Holiday Inn Express did not respond for comment.

Blacksburg Mayor Leslie Hager-Smith said she is in contact with the university on a daily basis, working on ways to help address the student housing need, but she didn't say yes or no when 10 News asked if she supports the idea of housing students in hotels.

"I think this does open a broader conversation about where we go, ultimately. I think we need to keep our eyes on the prize," Hager-Smith said.

Owczarski said there's no telling when an agreement between the university and the Holiday Inn Express may be finalized.

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