In the Feb. 21 edition of the Collegian, Mr. Erik Halvorson wrote both a timely and interesting article about the College Park Townhouses. He argued Hillsdale needs more cost-effective housing, like the 42 Union apartment buildings. But Mr. Halvorson missed a few important points that readers should consider.
First, the College Park Townhouses are privately owned with no financial risk to the college. They were built by friends and alumni, and thus, several are owned by friends and alumni. Three of the six townhouse units have private first floor accommodations. Tyler Horning ‘06 and myself ‘86 use these for personal use. We also share these with our friends and former classmates as well as college staff visiting from the Washington D.C. campus. It is a great gathering place for homecoming and Parents Weekend, etc.
The 42 Union building was a renovation that used government subsidies. The townhouses, on the other hand, were a new construction built with private capital. This makes a difference in terms of cost.
Mr. Halvorson claimed that few students expressed interest in the College Park Townhouses because of the price tag. But the townhouses haven’t been marketed yet. In fact, this spring is the first time they’ll be marketed, since the deadline for off-campus housing approval passed before they were available for rent last school year. Therefore, the popularity of the townhouses is yet to be known.
Choice is a good thing, and the College Park Townhouses provide just that. They offer students an upscale living alternative with private bedrooms, bathrooms, sleek kitchens, and inviting hang-out spaces, with urban loft furnishings. This kind of housing is hugely popular across the country, and it makes a great addition to Hillsdale’s community.
With that said, Hillsdale College has done a fabulous job updating the dorms and providing students with nice, cost-effective housing. This is an important investment and the townhouses are merely an extension of this trend.
With this considered, I would recommend that students decide for themselves and schedule a tour at www.hillsdalecollegepark.com.
The determination for more of this kind of investment in Hillsdale College student-living is directly dependent upon how students embrace College Park Townhouses. Private investment versus subsidization, upscale versus cheap, aesthetically beautiful versus ordinary.
The good news is in the free market, the student decides, not the newspaper.