DENVER — "Sign up for a hot shower:" that's what students at the Auraria Student Lofts on 14th and Arapahoe streets are being told to do after living for two months without consistent hot water.
“Hi, I was hoping to schedule a shower at the Curtis tonight,” said Maura Lorden, when picking up the phone to call to schedule her shower at the Curtis Hotel.
That is the process Lorden, a CU Denver sophomore, has to go through every time she wants to rinse off after a day of class.
In mid-September, she and her three roommates thought it was just an issue in their unit. But an email from the Auraria Student Lofts property shared with Denver7 revealed a bigger hot water issue affecting the whole high rise.
Fast forward two months and the 125-unit private student apartments across from the Denver Performing Arts Complex haven’t had consistent hot water since.
“If you happen to have 30 minutes between classes, then you should probably schedule a shower then because the more popular times are probably booked,” explained Lorden.
An email to tenants from the building on November 1 said all necessary parts for a broken water heater had been ordered. It went on to mention the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment issued a December 11 deadline for the repairs.
“If they fix it around December 11th, it would pretty much be a whole semester without having hot water,” said Kennady Macdonald, one of Lorden’s roommates.
In a statement, the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment told Denver7:
“DDPHE’s Residential Health team inspects and enforces city ordinances and rules and regulations for residential properties. Our Residential Health investigators have been working with Auraria Student Lofts on this issue for a few months. DDPHE has received eight complaints about this property and our investigators have reported water temperature readings below what is required in the housing code [denvergov.org] and our rules and regulations [denvergov.org]. We take violations of the housing code seriously and issued an order for the property to comply with city regulations and correct this issue on September 21. The property submitted an extension request because they had to order a specialty made part that is expected to be delivered by December 11. Because residents at the facility have been provided access to alternate shower facilities, DDPHE granted the extension. This property shares the building with the Curtis Hotel and Auraria Student Loft residents are able to utilize the shower facilities in vacant rooms.”
Until the problem is fixed, Lorden’s only option is the Curtis Hotel. She said she could sign up for a 30-minute hot shower between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily at the hotel. The student lofts and hotel are on the same property, but the hotel is on the first 16 floors and the students live on floors 17 through 30. But, they have different entrances.
“I'd rather be living back at the dorms at this point,” said Lorden.
Macdonald said she works a job after her classes which doesn’t always allow her to sign up for a shower in time.
“I didn't expect anything like this to happen and I didn't expect it to last this long,” said Macdonald.
For now, Lorden said it’s just a waiting game.
“I will never take a hot shower for granted, that's for sure,” Lorden said.
Nelson Partners Student Housing manages the property. Denver7 reached out to find out why the repairs are taking a significant amount of time but we have yet to hear back.