Keene State College was a very different institution in 1982; whether it be policy revisions, new land or academic building changes, campus was bustling with new and improved ideas.
For a price of $125,000, KSC acquired 103 acres of land, which nearly tripled the size of the campus. Located across the Rte. 101 bypass, the land, at the time, was purchased from Abraham and Deborah Cohen in July of 1982, and negotiations for the property took more than 18 months.
The land purchased is located between the former Ashuelot Railroad and the Ashuelot River on the southern side of Appleton Street, and included two houses and two other smaller buildings. At the time, Director of Resource Administration Robert L. Mallat Jr. said the houses would be demolished and one of the buildings would be used as a shed for salt and sand.
In developing the land, a survey of the property was necessary to gather topographic information, soil analyses, right of ways and drainage easements.
Also in 1984, “the college’s academic section has been moved from Rhodes Hall to Elliot Hall to get it back in the mainstream of the college,” according to Mallat in the Sept. 14, 1982 edition of The Equinox. When classes were formerly held in Rhodes Hall, Mallat said they were posing a safety hazard to students because they were required to cross Main Street to get there.
Mallat said the college administration was looking to relocate the physical plant from Elliot Hall to Rhodes Hall, one of the benefits being cutting down noise and truck distractions as they entered the loading dock off of Wyman Way.
Consequently though, the move would cost “tens of thousands of dollars,” said Mallat.
Another option would have been to convert the hall into a residential hall for college students, which Mallat said would not have been an efficient use of the hall because it would cause insoluble renovation problems.
When education faculty members were asked about the move, they were not overly enthusiastic. Paul G. Blacketor, a professor of education, said, “Education is now in the mainstream, which is more like Grand Central Station,” but the college had their reasons for the move regardless.
Rhodes Hall wasn’t the only building with possible renovations in its future though. In July of 1982, construction began to make the Dining Commons 3,000 square feet and 180 seats larger. Completion was set for Dec. 15.
Lastly, many student organizations were facing difficulties because they either weren’t being advised or the advisors weren’t sure of their role.
Additionally, policies surrounding alcohol and college savings were reviewed by the Board of Selectmen at their first meeting of the year.
When it comes to savings, KSC is doing much of the same thing now in 2017, carefully reviewing the budget and attempting to make the best decisions possible fort he campus as a whole.
Jessica Ricard can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org