Rumors as to what will happen to aging dormitories have arisen much in the same way new buildings on campus have.
While some of these dormitories are standing and fully occupied now, a plan to discontinue the use of them is in the works. These buildings include Randall and Monadnock Halls, which are located on Winchester Street, across from the main island of Keene State College.
Associate Director for Facilities and Business Operations Jim Carley said, “If that rumor turned out to be true, that would be news to us.”
However, some students really believed it, including first-year resident Faith Pudlo, really believed it to be true. She said it started after a Randall RA posted a status about this being the last year Randall would be a dormitory and selling t-shirts to “celebrate 49 years of service.”
Pudlo said, “Everyone was talking about it,” she said. She said for her personally, she’s pretty “unfazed” about i,t as well as “ready to not live there [anymore].”
She explained it’s difficult for her as a dance student to live at Randall and have to walk the distance to the Redfern time and time again throughout the week.
For incoming students, Randall and potentially Monadnock will no longer house students, Carley said. He explained that based on the number of incoming students for this past year, it doesn’t make much financial sense to keep Randall and Monadnock open.
“Even with the projected number of next year’s incoming freshmen class…it makes sense to consolidate these vacancies and shut a building down so you can save on all the expenses associated,” Carley explained.
He also said that other buildings have more options for students with disabilities than Randall and Monadnock offer. “So for example, in the new LLC (Living Learning Communities), there are four single bedrooms that have bathrooms associated with them,” he said. Carley continued to say that these bedrooms are ADA (American Disability Act) approved. “Obviously if you look at a building like Randall or Monadnock, [there’s] nothing there [for students with disabilities],” he said.
However, Carley said that if students need the space, the college might reopen Monadnock. “We would put [students] in Monadnock rather than Randall [which]…holds 248 while Monadnock holds 133,” he explained, while also saying it would be less costly.
KSC first-year student Ashley Lindelof said she has friends who are still looking for on-campus housing. “I know some people who are sophomores and don’t have housing because there’s not enough buildings,” she said.
For Lindelof, it’s more strange than sad that Randall is closing. She said the walk never bothered her; however, she found it amusing that so many people get annoyed in traffic when students have to cross the street.
“Keene is a city; you’re going to have traffic [at that crosswalk],” Lindelof said, “There are other parallel streets you can take since [students crossing frequently is] always at noon.”
Carley said that particular crosswalk has always been an issue for the folks of Keene.
“If you happen to be going down Winchester [St.] at the wrong time, you’re waiting while dozens of students are crossing back and forth in that one spot,” he explained. He continued, “Taking almost 500 students out of that crosswalk area will, I think, make a big difference.”
Dorothy England can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org