By Matthew Eley
Having a little under two years of construction experience, I must say I would feel guilty charging Kenyon College anywhere near half a million dollars for a North Campus Apartment (NCA). I suspect that the hidden but necessary costs are to be found in the those golden dedication plaques, which must have upped the average price for what the board had hoped would be affordable student housing.
The campus needed a good, solid dorm, and while it’s sad that one hall accommodates only one donor’s name, it’s more sad when several houses bearing donors’ names are coming apart at the seams. Old Kenyon’s regular maintenance fee is a splash of whitewash and a carpet cleaning; I’m not sure if the unglued NCA carpet squares could withstand carpet cleaning. It’s too bad that Bexley Hall already has a name — finding a donor to step in the shadow of Lord Bexley, all for a renovation, is a tall task.
Even if the NCAs were economically priced, they should still be returned to the Blue Light Special from which they originated. The “minor” problems mentioned by Ms. Simonton in “New Downtown? Not if it’s like the NCAs” (April 9, 2015) last week will no doubt worsen; equally concerning are the construction flaws like right angles that would look at home in rhombuses. If aesthetic and utility flaws are an issue three years out of the gate, more serious issues cannot be far behind. How ironic it would be if we could not demolish the New Apts because we need the space while restoring the NCAs.