Spacious Townhouses a huge step forward



With less than a month until the deadline for housing applications, the Senate discussed the new housing options available to students. At this week’s Senate meeting, Assistant Director of Broad Street Joseph Leo and Associate Director of Residential Life Timothy Mansfield delivered a presentation on the new apartment buildings opening next year, leading a discussion on the concerns, benefits and overall details of the town house complex.

Leo thoroughly explained the layout and structure of the townhouse complex and individual townhouses. According to him, the new town houses will be located south of the Community Memorial Hospital on Route 12B. In relation to the main campus, the townhouses are approximately the same distance from the top of the hill as is Building 4 of Newell Apartments. The town house complex has a U-shaped structure that will help to minimize the noise from trucks and cars on Route 12B.

Within the 14 town-house complex, there will be seven separate buildings. Each townhouse, which has eight rooms, can accommodate 16 people. However, the Residential Education Office is looking to house 12 people in each townhouse, allowing four rooms to be used as doubles and four rooms to be used as singles. Each room is approximately 10 by15 feet.

Each townhouse will include two bathrooms, one on each of the two floors. There are two showers and two bathroom stalls. Leo explained that this bathroom set-up would make it more comfortable for residents who decide to live with the opposite sex. The kitchen will include a refrigerator, dishwasher and a lunch counter.

According to Leo, the townhouses will have an abundance of parking space, natural walking trails that lead from the townhouses to athletic fields and a surplus of laundry machines throughout the facilities.

“One of the more unique aspects of the town houses was that they foster a sense of community among the different townhouses,” Leo said.

The architecture of the complex allows six townhouses to share a common backyard space. There will also be a common sidewalk that runs in front of all the townhouses. On a more social note, townhouses will have the same ability to sponsor events, parties and community gatherings as fraternities, sororities and other Broad Street houses.

As questions about the ideas and development behind the townhouses arose, Mansfield reassured the Senate that student input was used when creating the plans and architecture of the townhouses. Focus groups, community councils and members of the Athletics Program all played a role in the development of the town houses.

“[Residential Education] Director Sue Smith, Tim Mansfield and Joe Leo, among others, have done a terrific job in reaching out to students, gathering input and actually using that input for productive means,” Senate Parliamentarian senior Kevin McAvey said. “These townhouses are a huge step forward for residential living at Colgate University.”

Junior Jareau Hall, Senator for the Harlem Renaissance Center, added, “The new apartments definitely represent the wants and needs of the students here at Colgate.”

Many senators were concerned that the number of people who can live in the townhouses will not be equivalent to the spaces lost when ‘Gate House is eventually torn down. However, Mansfield assured the Senate that there are far more spaces available in the townhouses then there are in ‘Gate House.

After the presentation, Leo and Mansfield briefly discussed the application process. Mansfield stressed that decisions made about next year’s residents will be based on the quality of the proposal and commitment of the residents towards a common goal. Although Mansfield would like to see seniority play a role in selection, all underclassmen are eligible to apply.

Residential Education’s presentation on the townhouses was strictly informational and a vote was not taken. The Senate reacted positively to the presentation and idea of a new housing community in the fall.

“I feel that the presentation was very well put together,” Hall said. “I think it should be shown to the whole campus during an information session, where students will be able to ask questions and express their concerns and ideas.”

McAvey agreed with the positive effect of the presentation.

“Beyond [the apartment’s] exemplary form – 2nd floor living room equipped with a balcony looking out over the first, doubles and singles, double bathrooms, washers and driers, back-covered patios – as presented at the Senate meeting,” he said, “their implementation has finally put the Residential Education Office in a positive spotlight.”