Springfield, Ohio -
Wittenberg University celebrated the dedication of Keller Place with an open house Oct. 23 during which residents shared their delight with the university’s newest residence facility.
The 48-bed apartment building was built in a cooperative venture with Thomas & Marker General Contractors of Cincinnati. The contractor assumed all costs for the building and will receive rent payment from students for 30 years. After that title for the building will transfer to Wittenberg.
The new residential option was very popular with students and the available spaces were taken in less than a day. The apartments are arranged in suites of four single bedrooms surrounding a living room, full eat-in kitchen and two full baths. The fully furnished, two-story facility also boasts balconies/patios, private parking and on premises laundry facilities.
Four friends who lived in Ferncliff residence hall last year leaped at the chance to live in Keller when it was still under construction and they were not disappointed. “There’s no comparison,” said Jennifer Schwab, a junior middle childhood education major from Toledo.
“I thought it would feel institutional,” Schawb added. “It doesn’t at all. You can definitely do whatever you want to make it your own.”
“It’s really nice to cook for yourself,” said Laura Drinkwine, a junior from New Knoxville, Ohio majoring in English and Education. “Well not always,” the roommates said in near unison.
Heather Stansfield, a junior majoring in English and German from Holland, Ohio said “You feel really grown up when you have to go to the grocery store … or clean the bathroom,” she laughed.
Among only five males calling Keller Place home are a group who have already re-christened the building El Rancho Relaxo. Adam Leu, a junior management major from Canal Winchester, Ohio said he loves the building’s location apart from the academic campus, but still close enough to feel part of everything. Roommate Nate Schipper, a junior from Holland, Mich. majoring in management and math said he gets around the extra walking by riding his bike to class.
Senior Brian Kuhn, an education major from Burlington, Ky. proudly explained that the décor of their living room is dominated by a sound system and a foosball table. They made their place more classy by checking out artworks from the university art collection. The now tidy apartment, however, with the help of senior religion major Justin Bradshaw, of Dublin, Ohio usually looks like a hiding place for refugees, he admitted.
As the male minority in the Keller community, the guys have offered to provide informal security services in exchange for the women helping them clean up. No takers yet, Kuhn said ruefully.
Keller Place is named after Wittenberg’s founder and first president Ezra Keller, the key figure in the funding and construction of the university’s first dormitory/classroom building about 1846. Keller Place is expected to be the first of a number of similar apartment buildings built under the partnership with Thomas & Marker. Plans for a second building are now being evaluated. If the project goes forward the next project would be scheduled for completion in August, 2003.
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