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Christopher City residents defend building, condemn UA

By Jesus Lopez Jr.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 29, 1999
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Residents of the UA's Christopher City family housing complex are voicing complaints at Residence Life, calling on the officials to kill a plan for new housing and rectify a budget discrepancy.

The University of Arizona's family housing facility lost $25,000 when a Residence Life employee made an unrecorded purchase about two years ago.

"It just fell through the cracks," said James Van Arsdel, Residence Life director. He declined to name the employee who made the expenditure.

Van Arsdel said new expenses were not included into the budget changes. The mistake was discovered earlier this semester when budgets were compared with actual expenditures.

Christopher City residents, however, fear that Residence Life may fix the problem by cutting services to the housing complex, said Martha Grath, a community assistant and first year UA law student.

UA officials and Christopher City community assistants are discussing several ideas to pay for the error. Van Arsdel said a solution could be found by the end of this week.

"I know that it's been discussed," Van Arsdel said.

Some Christopher City residents have also objected to Residence Life's proposed plan to house an overwhelming amount of residents at Casa Feliz, 1201 E. Drachman St.

The Arizona Board of Regents could vote May 20 to buy the apartments for $5.1 million. But residents said the apartment complex lacked the playground facilities for children and would have too much noise.

"We don't want to move from here," said Bashir Hobba, 50, a UA Parking and Transportation Services employee and Christopher City resident since 1980. "I've moved two times. Each time, I came back here."

Another resident said Christopher City offers safety and an adequate recreation area for her children.

"It [Christopher City] is the safest place I think for the kids," said Keike Meya, a resident whose husband is a graduate student in Native American studies. "They can play wherever they want."