Saratoga County

New Skidmore apartments to open

A new 110-bed student apartment complex — part of a three-phase, $42 million building program at Ski

A new 110-bed student apartment complex — part of a three-phase, $42 million building program at Skidmore College — will be filled with students when classes start Sept. 5.

A second phase of the program includes the demolition of the remaining 1970s-era Scribner Village apartments in the northwestern corner of the 750-acre campus and the construction of seven replacement buildings, college officials said.

“We are anticipating completing phase two [Scribner replacements] in late 2013,” said Michael West, the college’s vice president for finance and administration and also college treasurer.

The newly completed housing is called the Hillside apartments. They are twin, two-story buildings built into the side of a slope off the college’s perimeter road overlooking Scribner Village.

Construction started last summer and was finished earlier this year. Each of the buildings has 11 apartments that are fully furnished and are two story. Each apartment has its own kitchen, living room, one bedroom downstairs, and four bedrooms upstairs.

“We are going to be offering one of the better residential experiences among our peer and aspirant institutions,” West said.

In 2006 the college opened the Northwoods Apartments that added 380 beds in a condominium-like setting popular with upper-class students. As part of the current building program, the college opened a three-building, 114-bed addition to Northwoods in January.

Scribner Village was built in 1973 as a “temporary” student housing complex of 15 small apartment buildings. Some of the Scribner buildings remain but the foundations for the seven replacement buildings have been constructed and work on these buildings is ongoing.

MLB Construction of Malta is the construction manager and QPK Design of Syracuse is the architect. Like the original Northwoods Apartments, the new buildings will be geothermally heated and cooled, college officials said.

Juniors will be using the Hillside Apartments during the 2012-13 academic year but in years to come, when the seven new apartment buildings are finished in late 2013, the entire complex will be used by sophomores.

“Our goal, when everything is done, is to have 90 percent of our students on campus,” West said.

Approximately 2,400 students attend the private, liberal arts college on North Broadway in Saratoga Springs.

Nearly 400 students, all juniors or seniors, live off campus in rental apartments and houses.

College officials would like as many students as possible, especially junior and seniors, to live on campus.

When students arrive on campus as freshmen they have access to traditional residence halls, with double and, sometimes, triple rooms.

The incoming Skidmore class has a total of 651 students with 38 of these students spending their first semester in London. This is slightly smaller than the sophomore class, according to Andrea Wise, a college spokeswoman.

“We want to move to a situation where we can offer a sophomore a single room, which is possible with these new suites,” said Dean of Student Affairs Rochelle Calhoun, in a college statement.

The new units offer a community atmosphere, yet students have the privacy of a single room, she said.

Funding for the three-phase building project includes a $12 million gift by Donald Sussman, a trustee who chairs the college’s investment committee and the father of Emily Sussman, a 2004 Skidmore graduate.

An anonymous donor gave an additional $5.5 million for the project. The balance of the money comes from bonds issued through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, West said.

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