By Justina Kilumelume
Kalamazoo College recently purchased Greenbriar Apartments in order to expand housing options. The College officially finalized the deal and plans to turn Greenbriar into a seventh dormitory last month.
Greenbriar is located on Lovell St. and is a short ten-minute walk from campus and local convenience stores like the infamous Circle K and Bottoms Up, formerly known as Muchie Mart.
The purchase was made in order to meet short-term needs for housing due to this year’s increase in student population. K proposed the idea last spring after they realized increase in committed students in the first year class. The $15 million deal was finalized last month; the plan was accelerated by the many complaints from first-year Harmon residents who feel that their rooms are too crowded.
$15 million will be spent to purchase and renovate the apartments.
“We believe the purchase will benefit all K students and as it will support our short-term housing capacity needs and the long term need for a variety of housing options to serve student preferences,” Dana Jansma, the Associate Dean of Students said.
According to the Office of Residential Life, K will have complete ownership of the property beginning August 2014. Greenbriar was chosen because there are already many K students living there and its convenient location. The current tenants will be allowed to stay in the apartments until the end of their contracted leases, most of which end this summer.
The apartment complex will be officially renamed Lumumba Hall in honor and memory of Chokwe Lumumba ’69, and his contributions and lifelong dedication to human rights and social justice. Lumumba, the former mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, who died on February 25, 2014, was also actively involved in the creation and growth of the Black Student Organization at Kalamazoo College.
College officials say the large purchase was made in an effort to comfortably accommodate student as well as increase student-housing opportunities. Harmon will become a freshman dorm and the rooms will no longer be triples but doubles as they have always been. Lumumba will primarily be an upperclassmen dorm but first priority will be given to seniors, juniors and visiting international students.
“The addition of the seventh dorm will ensure students’ comfortable campus life as well as give an opportunity to all juniors and seniors live in a dorm with an off-campus feeling,” Jansma said.
Greenbriar is located on 821 W Lovell St. It has very spacious, fully renovated bedroom units to choose from, with balconies, dishwashers and a spacious and secure parking lot. Facilities management will take care of all maintenance issues throughout the summer and the dorm will be ready before the beginning of fall quarter.