Nathan Hope / Copy Editor

On Mar. 3, an option agreement was signed to further cement Antioch’s co-location plans with KSC. “[The agreement] will allow us to enter into an exclusive contract with Antioch for both parties to go through due diligence in preparation for a binding agreement,” Vice President for Finance and Administration Nathalie Houder said.

“We’re trying to develop an educational hub,” Houder said of Keene State’s continuing partnership talks with Antioch University. 

Antioch University is a private graduate school with five physical locations nationwide, and since its founding in 1964, Antioch’s New England campus has been housed in Keene, N.H. 

For more than 25 years, Antioch’s New England campus has stood at its 40 Avon St. location. In late June 2022, Antioch sold the building to Monadnock Family Services (MFS), with a portion of the agreement stating that Antioch can lease back part of the building for up to 48 months after purchase until they find a new space, according to an MFS press release.

President Melinda Treadwell previously served as Provost and VP for Academic Affairs for Antioch from January 2014 to August 2017 before becoming President of Keene State. 

Treadwell stated that during her time at Antioch, there were academic partnership talks between the two institutions, but co-location was not in discussion yet. 

In 2019, Treadwell said Antioch started using a lab space in Keddy House for some of their counseling programs, and that as part of that agreement, they would help cover “some overflow for counseling demands [at KSC].” 

Treadwell stated that co-location talks had also begun in 2019, but due to rising costs from COVID in 2020, those plans were tabled at the time. In 2021, the talks resumed. 

A September 2022 letter of intent sent by Antioch to the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Board of Trustees outlined a plan to construct a new, three-floor building where Monadnock and Randall Halls currently stand on Winchester St. Additionally, the proposal aimed to convert Blake House into an administrative building for Antioch after an abatement process was completed. 

Treadwell said that KSC is currently looking to secure funding to make the third floor of the new building into lower-cost apartments that would be available to both Antioch students and graduating KSC students looking to enter the local workforce.

“They will own the first two floors, we will own the air rights to the third floor, we will manage the third floor and we’ll be the land owner for the first two floors,” Treadwell explained.

The Equinox reported on Nov. 17, 2022 that the Board of Trustees approved $3.5 million in spending to go toward the demolition of Randall and Monadnock Halls, as well as the abatement of Blake House. 

In recent years, KSC has used the vacant residency halls as quarantine spaces for students with COVID, and more recently as a police-training space. 

According to Houder, outside of the demolition and abatement costs, Antioch would be covering all costs relating to the construction of the new academic space.

Houder noted the similarity to KSC and River Valley Community College (RVCC)’s co-location agreement. “They’re going to lease the land that they’re building their building on, so that way we maintain control of the land and they’re leasing Blake House exactly how RVCC is leasing the [Cheshire House] on campus,” she said.

As for the construction timeline, Treadwell said, “I think by fall of 2024 was their plan to have the facility up. Randall and Monadnock will come down this summer, so the site will be cleared. We’re also ready for the abatement [of Blake] once they tell us what they [Antioch] want inside.”

According to, Antioch University New England has approximately 845 students enrolled in their graduate programs. According to KSC’s 2022 Factbook, there were 113 graduate students attending KSC as of the fall 2022 semester. 

“We don’t have any programs like they [Antioch] do. Their programs are very unique, but complementary to ours,” Treadwell said.


Nathan Hope can be contacted at

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