East Campus Housing Project Faces Community Resistance

Colorado College is designing new on-campus housing opportunities for upperclassmen, and community members are not happy about it.

On April 5, CC held a Pre-Application neighborhood meeting to discuss the East Campus Housing Project, and many members of the Colorado Springs community came to listen to CC’s plans and voice their own concerns.

Tim Seibert, one of the landscape architects and planners of the project, spoke on behalf of the college. In the project overview, Seibert stated the college’s goal of bringing students currently living in the neighborhood back within the campus boundaries. CC is not aiming for an increase in student population, and the proposed design will accommodate 154 students.

The buildings will be for upperclassmen residents only. In an attempt to maintain the visible appearance of the neighborhood, CC will be breaking up the new buildings in a house scheme, instead of one large traditional dorm.

But when Seibert showed pictures of the proposed dorm designs, members in the audience visibly voiced their distaste and disgust with the plans. One woman had such a strong reaction that she scrawled the words “butt ugly” onto her notes.

When the presentation was opened up to comments and questions, almost every community member who spoke up mentioned something about how the building designs do not match the surrounding community, and how upset they were over this.

Michael Galvin, a local Colorado Springs resident, said, “I am talking to Colorado College, stop tearing down our neighborhood and stop tearing down our heritage.”

People were visibly upset and angry over the college’s plans, and demanded answers.

“Our intent is not to replicate a Victorian home, but to respect that and create buildings for 2016,” said Seibert in response to the many citizens who were furious at the building designs.

Although CC’s property may not be subject to the laws regarding historical registers, many of its neighboring communities are on historic registers, and owners of these properties take much pride in the rich history and aesthetic beauty of the area. Due to this, many community members were offended that CC is not making more of an effort to preserve and replicate that historic beauty.

“It is not what is required for historic registers, it is about what is being a good neighbor,” said local resident Jane Morgan.

The new building design is intended to limit jaywalking across Nevada Street by having one main crosswalk location with a pedestrian operated signal. With the introduction of this idea came many more comments from the audience about the students and whether they will actually take the time to press a button and wait for cars to stop. They did not have very much faith in the road-crossing abilities of CC students.

In addition to the issues with the building designs, some general concerns about college students arose during this meeting. There were many ill sentiments expressed towards college students and their disregard for noise control, tendencies towards jaywalking, and excessive use of red plastic cups.

This was the first meeting of many on the long road to renovation and construction, and CC is taking the comments of the community into consideration while revising and updating their plans for the future.

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