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College opens new townhouse-style student housing

MIDDLEBURY — Less than one year after Middlebury College began clearing the site for a 158-bed residence complex, its first student occupants have moved into the four new buildings on the western edge of campus.
Orientation leaders, residential life staff and student-athletes started arriving two weeks ago at the 58,800-square-foot Ridgeline Residence Complex.
Middlebury received a certificate of occupancy Aug. 15 — weeks ahead of schedule “thanks to the efforts of general contractor Naylor and Breen Builders, with a boost from the favorable weather we had last winter and spring,” said Tom McGinn, the project manager.
Three of the four new buildings are clustered together on Adirondack View Road and contain town-house-style apartments — the first town-house units on the Middlebury campus. Each three-story apartment has eight single bedrooms, three bathrooms, full kitchen, living room and laundry.
There are four town homes per building for a total of 12 units to house 96 students. The apartments are equipped with full-size beds, desks, chairs and dressers, in addition to living room furniture, a breakfast bar with stools and a dining room table and chairs. The buildings are named Town Home North, Center and South.
The fourth building is positioned on Ridgeline Road northwest of the town houses and it contains suites for an additional 62 students. Each suite typically has four single bedrooms, a living room and a bathroom. The bedrooms are outfitted with full-size beds, desks, chairs and dressers, and each living room is furnished with a couch, two easy chairs and a coffee table, just like in the town houses.
The Ridgeline Suites, as the building is called, is equipped with an elevator. Three suites are fully accessible to students with disabilities, and the entire building is visitable by people with disabilities. The common spaces contained in the building include a large lounge with a full kitchen, two smaller lounges and a laundry room.
All four of the new buildings are air conditioned with windows that open and close, touchpad door locks and wireless Internet service throughout. The entire four-acre site is landscaped, and illuminated pathways connect the complex with the main campus to the east and to the Ridgeline parking lot to the west.
Completion of the four new buildings enabled Middlebury College to remove the five “mods,” or modular homes, that have served as student residences since 1998. Tucked between Prescott House and the Materials Recycling Facility, the “mods” were sold to a local firm that will disassemble them and move them off site, McGinn said. The area where the “mods” stood will be turned into additional parking for students.
Site preparation for the project began in September 2015 with the removal of the house at 82 Adirondack View and the extension of utility services — water, electricity, septic, telephone and data — to the site. The project also included the construction of a storm water management system that funnels runoff into two large bio-retention basins on site.
The college worked with Kirchhoff Campus Properties (KCP) of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., to develop the new complex. Under the arrangement with KCP, the developer retains ownership of the buildings while Middlebury retains ownership of the land and is responsible for maintaining the property.
Editor’s note: Reporting by Robert Keren, Middlebury College.

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