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A new dormitory will welcome 42 Bard College at Simon’s Rock sophomores when they return to campus in late August. This new building, the Carriage House, is an example of the College maintaining enrollment and programmatic momentum in spite of the economic environment. 

“This new dormitory advances several College objectives,” stated Mary B. Marcy, provost and vice president of Bard College at Simon’s Rock.  “We made the decision to go forward with this building despite the tough economy for critical reasons: to sustain enrollment momentum; to be able to house the growing student population on campus; to further integrate the areas of the College’s expansive campus, and to allow for growth in summer revenue.

“Enrollment has grown for the past several years and we expect a strong class again this year. Last fall, we had to house 20 students off campus. This dormitory will allow all residential students to have the same positive experience of living on campus.” 

The opening of the Carriage House, also allows us to better distribute the student population across the 360-acre campus creating coherent communities and further integrating the site’s physical, intellectual and environmental spaces.

The construction of the Carriage House also gave the College a sufficient number of dormitory rooms to enter into a beneficial seasonal relationship with the Center for Talented Youth thus substantially increasing use of the campus outside of the academic year.    

Steven Carignan, Director of Physical Plant at Bard College at Simon’s Rock explained, “Opening this new dormitory wouldn’t have been possible without a substantial investment in infrastructure improvements and site work.”  Prior to constructing the $1 million dormitory, approximately $1.4 million was invested in infrastructure improvements and site work that prepared the upper campus for current and future development. Last summer, Fox Run, the road connecting the eastern and western areas of the campus was rebuilt with better lighting, sidewalks and drainage.  In December 2008, additional projects were launched that included a fire pumping station, provision for commercial electric, gas, sewage, and the construction of a utility building that will serve as a way point for future development. Infrastructure improvements were carried out by a local contracting firm, Great River Construction. 

With the decision to go forward on the dormitory in the fall of 2008 and summer programs beginning in June 2009, the window for completing this project was tight,” stated Carignan. “Vanguard Construction arrived on campus in February to lay foundations, construction began in March.”  The newly completed 7,350 square foot dormitory has 21 double rooms, a study area, lounge, kitchen, bathrooms and a 600 square foot apartment for the residence director. Additionally, the Carriage House supports the College’s green initiatives.  The dormitory is constructed from 14 recycled modular units.  “This is, in fact, their third use,” boasts Carignan. The well-insulated building also manages energy efficiently with instant hot water systems and high efficiency gas heat and air conditioning. 

“The Carriage House will benefit our institution and our students,” summarized Marcy.  “This building project and associated site work have also provided a healthy stimulus boost to our community during these difficult economic times.” 

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