Saratoga County

Skidmore student housing projects under way

Work is progressing on the first part of a $42 million student housing expansion project at Skidmore

Work is progressing on the first part of a $42 million student housing expansion project at Skidmore College, with three townhouse apartments — a total of 114 beds — scheduled to be finished in January.

At the same time, construction has started on two, four-story, 57-bed residential buildings just south of Scribner Village on the college’s North Broadway campus, said Michael D. West, Skidmore’s vice president for finance and administration.

The two 57-bed buildings are expected to be finished in August 2012.

The final part of the project will be demolishing the 15 wood-frame, circa-1973 Scribner Village apartments in stages and replacing them with seven better-built apartment-style structures that will accommodate approximately 240 students. West said these buildings are scheduled to be completed by August 2013.

“We are trying to increase our resident population and decrease the number of students downtown,” he said.

Skidmore College is a private, liberal arts college of 2,600 students located on North Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Approximately 400 upper class students live off campus.

Skidmore welcomed its largest freshman class in history last year with 732 students on campus. Many of these students were housed in three-bed dorm rooms.

This year’s freshman class of 670 students is smaller but West said there are still first-year students living in three-bed dormitory rooms. “We want to have fewer triple rooms,” he said.

The three apartment-style buildings in the Northwoods Village area of the campus are quickly taking shape where a parking lot was once located. They will look almost identical to the 15 existing Northwoods townhouse apartments built in 2006. College officials say these are very popular with upper class students.

The exterior and interior walls of the new buildings are being framed and roof framing and brick work has started.

“Work is also in progress drilling the geothermal wells for heating and cooling,” West said.

The second phase in the project is the construction of two 57-bed student apartment buildings for sophomores into the slope of a small hill just south of Scribner Village. Site work is being completed and foundation work is substantially done. The steel frames of these residence halls are going up.

The final phase is the replacement of Scribner Village with seven modern townhouse-style apartment buildings.

Scribner Village has a total of 288 beds in 15 buildings and is being used by students this year. West said some Scribner buildings will be demolished in 2012 and the rest in 2013 as the new larger units are completed. The general contractor for the work is MLB Construction Services of Malta.

The new housing is underwritten by a pledge of $12 million from the family of college trustee Donald Sussman. An anonymous gift of $5.5 million was also given and fund raising for the $42 million project continues. Skidmore issued bonds to cover the rest of the project, according to college officials.

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