Tue 30 Mar 2004
The College, which does a very good job of handling the always tricky town/gown relationship, gave tours of some new faculty apartments.
Williams College opened the doors of the tall, red brick 100-year-old former Williamstown High School and elementary school building, which has undergone a $5.5 million renovation into 15 apartments for college faculty and staff. The college paid the town $100,000 for the school, which was no longer needed as a school once the new elementary school on Church Street was completed.
In my Massachusetts town, there are hordes of private developpers who tackle projects like these. Perhaps these developpers are somehow prevented from operating in Williamstown?
By all accounts, the College did a fine job with this renovation. I was surprised to learn, however, that
Apartments at Southworth will rent for between $900 and $1,350, according to a letter the college recently sent to faculty members. Their completion brings the college’s holdings of apartments to 115, according to Helen Ouellete, Williams vice president and treasurer. Occupants will be chosen through a housing lottery next month, she said.
115? Is this a College or a property development company? Of course, we all know the arguments about how the College needs to ensure that there is good housing for faculty [and staff? — ed]. Don’t forget about all the money spent of the housing development at Pine Cobble. But surely there comes a point when the College has done enough . . .
Of course, the cynic [realist? — ed] says that the best way to understand most actions by the College is to see how those actions benefit the faculty.
The 15 new units join the roughly 100 other faculty units at Williams. Faculty may rent from the college until three years after they receive tenure, and administrative staff can rent for their first three years of employment.
Those terms seem, uh, generous.
The college has seen a jump in demand for rental units in recent years as the faculty has grown.
Or, the College has seen a jump in demand as it’s rental fees drop further and further beneath market rates.
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