This summer, the New Apartments and the Acland Apartments underwent renovations to give the residences at least 10 more years of use. ﾠ
Some students reacted with surprise to the New Apt upgrades, given the campus-wide assumption that the New Apts were temporary housing, a belief echoed by Greg Widener, Kenyon’s director of facility operations. “They were considered temporary until something more permanent could be built, and they’ve become more permanent than temporary,” Widener said.
Mark Kohlman, Kenyon’s chief business officer, disagrees. “No, it wasn’t temporary. I don’t know if the expected life was this long but it wasn’t temporary housing,” he said.
The recent New Apt upgrades were meant to create more storage space and facilitate easier repairs.
New Apartment blocks A and B received new cabinet-style pantries in the kitchenette as well as new, full-size refrigerators to replace the older models.ﾠ With the addition of new cabinetry, stall showers and faucets, the bathrooms underwent a total facelift.
“Basically, we supersized the kitchenettes and supersized the bathrooms as best we could given the space that was there. ﾅ It’s hard to increase something that’s very small anyway, ” Widener said.ﾠ
In the Aclands, the A and Bﾠ blocks also received upgrades.ﾠ The College added new drawer cabinetry to the kitchen, along with a new exhaust fan and a full-size refrigerator.ﾠ In the bathroom, there are new showers to replace the older bathtub-shower model, more bathroom storage space and additional bathroom outlets.ﾠ Kohlman believes the upgrades will add more longevity to the Aclands. “We’ve done the floors periodically, we’ve painted in there and the furniture is on a cycle, but we’d never done any of the other upgrades,” he said.
These upgrades come at a time when some students are expressing concerns that the newly built North Campus Apartments are too flimsy to last.ﾠ Widener disagreed, and said, “You’re not always able to have the Cadillac version when a midgrade version will suffice and will work well.”
All of the funds used for the apartment upgrades came out of Kenyon’s building budget.ﾠ The New Apt work cost a total of $144,600 out of the allotted $150,000 and the Acland repairs cost $45,000.ﾠ The College plans to upgrade the remaining New Apts and Aclands over the next three to four years. When the project is finished and all apartments have been upgraded, the total cost will sit somewhere around $600,000.ﾠ
While there are currently no plans to remove or replace the New Aptsﾠ or the Aclands, Kohlman has big hopes for the future. “Maybe for the bicentennial [of the College in 2024] that will be the first kickoff, you know, knock down the New Apts,” he said. “Who knows?”ﾠ