Many Keene State College students have begun the housing decision process for the past few weeks and there are many options, including a new apartment building, The Mills of Keene.

As students search for their living accommodations for the upcoming year 2015-2016, they have a lot to keep in mind.

Junior Shannon Summers said, “We [my roommates and I] started looking in September for a lease for next year. We looked for the number of rooms and how expensive rent was. We wanted to be within walking distance. Those specifics helped narrow down our search.”

Another KSC student, Mycala Salmonsen, is also looking for living arrangements for next year. She and her roommate have considered many arrangements, trying to find the right fit for their needs.

Salmonsen said, “We started looking about two weeks ago. Location, parking, laundry and the size of rooms are our main concerns.”

Salmonsen continued, “We’re considering the Mills of Keene because it’s brand new and very affordable.”

Rebecca Innerfield, junior, has lived off campus for two years now in Arcadia Apartments, but said she is curious to make the switch to The Mills of Keene.

“It’s right down the street from where I live now so I’ve seen the construction going on,” Innerfield said, “I decided to look into it and realized that the apartments look really spacious and also affordable.”

Contributed Photo

Contributed Photo

Innerfield added, “I definitely want to check them out when they’re finished.”

Dan Miller and Joan McConnell, both Mills of Keene employees and representatives, explained how the ‘leasing season’ in Keene, especially for college students, has already begun.

Miller spoke of how early the leasing season begins for KSC students.

“It’s [the leasing season] really early in Keene. There’s very select housing that is close to campus and works well for students’ living needs,” Miller said.

Miller continued, “A lot of students kind of rush into housing because of this small amount of time.”

The Mills of Keene are opening a new apartment building designed for student housing, which is expected to be complete in July of 2015.

The apartments are located on Ralston Street, which is within walking distance of Keene State College campus.

Miller explained the apartments’ environmental consciousness. He said that this should entice students at KSC.

Miller said, “Everything in the apartments are environmentally friendly. The building is LEED [Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design] certified, which we are proud of. We know students and the Keene community care for the environment and we are taking the building seriously.”

The Mills of Keene will have over 70 units with two, three and four bedroom rooms available, including all utilities and many on-site benefits, according to Ethan Ash, Mills of Keene’s marketing official.

Ash described The Mills of Keene as, “The center of it all.”

McConnell added, “Everything is brand new. We are already meeting with students interested in housing and going through applications.”

Lease dates are from August to July 31, however, the process has started and will continue through the next few months.

McConnell said, “We have blueprints and pictures so students can see the layout of the rooms and club areas.”

The Mills of Keene are excited to offer study rooms, a clubhouse, a fitness center and more. Ash concluded that The Mills of Keene are proud to be a “transition from dorms.”

“I moved off campus early. It was my sophomore year and I felt like I didn’t really know how to live on my own yet. It’s kind of confusing when you move from a dorm to actually on your own. You have rent and you have a bunch of responsibilities to do,” Innerfield said.

Innerfield continued, “From what I’ve heard, [The Mills of Keene] make it a pretty easy transition and I think that a lot of students on campus would like to have that.”

Including these areas, there is also great security in the buildings, as safety is priority for The Mills, according to Ash.

McConnell said, “Students can feel safe here. Keys are needed to enter the apartments and having a security guard over the weekends will ensure that everyone in the building has access to help anytime they need.” Innerfield spoke of the importance of safety in an apartment.

“I’ve lived in Arcadia for two years now and it just feels so safe. A lot of my friends who live in off-campus houses don’t feel this way. I think students really need to think of safety when they’re looking at places to live,” Innerfield said, “Like Arcadia, I can already tell this building is going to fill up fast.”

Ash spoke of their expectations of the apartment building once it is finished, discussing the popularity of their buildings in another New Hampshire college town.

Ash said, “We own a few buildings in downtown Durham, called the University of Downtown. We know what the students want with housing and our places are enjoyed in Durham.

Ash continued, “We expect the same thing will happen in Keene. Students can enjoy having a clubhouse and a lounge area, while still getting space and quiet areas to work out and study.”

As students continue to search for their best housing fit, The Mills of Keene are also working to help future tenants have the best living accommodations they can.


Eleanor Marshall can be contacted at

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