Valley Information – Dartmouth Faculty revises housing plan with scholar flats crossing Lyme Highway

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HANOVER — Bowing to neighborhood strain however not giving up fully, Dartmouth Faculty unveiled a revised plan to construct a scholar housing complicated on Lyme Highway north of downtown Hanover, a second strive that nonetheless acquired a blended response amongst space residents.

The brand new plan, which revises the unique proposal Dartmouth floated final October would shift the situation undergraduate housing for as much as 400 college students from the east aspect of Lyme Highway, on what’s presently the Garipay Area recreation space, to the west aspect of the street, on the north finish of the previous Hanover Nation Membership golf course and close to Hanover’s police division and fireplace station.

“We’ve heard numerous neighborhood suggestions prior to now a number of months,” Josh Keniston, vice chairman of campus providers and institutional initiatives at Dartmouth, mentioned in a Thursday interview with the Valley Information, noting that the faculty had a number of conferences with neighborhood residents, school, workers and athletic teams that use Garipay Area for follow and recreation.

The result of the “suggestions” — which included school voting twice months aside earlier this to register their opposition to the earlier proposal — demonstrated that “the neighborhood has robust emotions about how the house round Lyme Highway is activated

“What we heard was that, you realize, possibly Garipay Area was not the best location,” he mentioned.

Spacious and open, Garipay Area is a well-liked recreation spot for each the faculty and the neighborhood, used year-round for soccer in the summertime to cross nation snowboarding within the winter and — though technically prohibited — canine strolling by way of all seasons.

The unique plan, which the faculty placed on maintain in February following the college and workers protest vote, alternately weighed growing a parcel for scholar housing south of Garipay Area behind a grove of bushes and houses the place the Dartmouth golf staff practices.

Like the unique proposal, the brand new location on the west aspect of Lyme Highway is designed to deal with 400 undergraduates in “apartment-style” items which would come with particular person bedrooms, a standard room and a kitchen. The three-building complicated would additionally function a “swing” house to accommodate college students whereas the faculty embarks on an formidable multiyear campuswide challenge to renovate undergraduate dorms.

Finally, Keniston mentioned, the complicated might be transformed into housing for 300 graduate {and professional} college college students.

About three-quarters of Dartmouth’s roughly 4,000 undergraduates stay in “residential communities,” a time period that encompasses dorms, fraternities, sororities, “residing studying communities” and senior flats. And the faculty has historically billed the on-campus residing expertise, with its prepared entry to each class and non-class actions, as integral a part of the coed’s mental training.

However Dartmouth has additionally confronted a yearslong housing scarcity, forcing the faculty to undertake a shuttle housing system wherein second-year college students are in residence for “sophomore summer season” in an effort to unencumber dorm house for freshman, juniors and seniors through the different quarters. Traditionally a slug of campus additionally grew to become out there as college students flocked overseas for his or her junior 12 months.

The pandemic upended the system, nonetheless, placing extra strain on the faculty to deal with college students in Hanover.

The Lyme Highway proposal is designed to attraction to these college students, principally third- and fourth-year undergraduates, who’re keen to simply accept residing a 30-minute stroll away from the inexperienced within the coronary heart of the campus in alternate for what school directors body as extra impartial, apartment-style residing.

Keniston mentioned directors are conscious that the Lyme Highway residential complicated nonetheless would require a “programming” component in order that college students don’t really feel “such as you’re completely out by yourself” greater than a mile away from the primary school neighborhood. He mentioned directors are presently learning what kind that may take.

Vital hurdles nonetheless lie forward with the proposal for the faculty, nonetheless, not least of which might be persuading Hanover city planning and zoning officers {that a} three-building, 128-unit housing complicated north of downtown constructed on a former golf course is suitable with the encircling neighborhood.

Keniston mentioned the purpose is to start once more “partaking” with the neighborhood later this 12 months and early subsequent earlier than shifting on with submitting a web site plan to the city and hopefully gaining the permits. Building might simply undergo 2024 and the purpose is to have the complicated prepared for occupancy within the fall of 2025.

Barry Harwick, an alumnus and retired Dartmouth observe and discipline coach who lives on Reservoir Highway close to Garipay Area, known as the revised proposal “marginally higher for the neighborhood, however for college students who’re going to stay there, not higher in any method, form or kind.”

Harwick cited elevated site visitors alongside Lyme Highway from “shuttling 400 college students forwards and backwards all day” and the way residing greater than a mile from the center of the campus would imply “these college students lacking the academic alternatives that different college students are going to must stay on campus.”

Though Harwick contends there are different approaches to addressing the coed housing scarcity, a few of them at websites on the town the faculty has recognized prior to now, he believes Dartmouth’s plan is being pushed by expedience over different concerns.

“I feel that the rationale they’re constructing this out there’s that they need a flat piece of land that they already personal that may be constructed on shortly,” he mentioned.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.

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