The School Street apartments will live up to their name beginning next fall, when the College will absorb the property as campus housing.
The School Street building is a freestanding house that is currently organized into four apartments and rented by Bowdoin students as off-campus housing, but the change will allow the College to offer the units in the Residential Life housing lottery.
School Street, located north of the College, is just under a mile from the center of campus and sits off Federal Street in downtown Brunswick.
The Maine State Music Theater owns the apartment house. Associate Director of Housing Operations Lisa Rendall explained in an e-mail to the Orient that Bowdoin has rented the apartments as campus housing in the past, the last time in the 2006-2007 academic year.
The property is the College's only new housing acquisition for the upcoming 2011-2012 year, according to Rendall.
"The house is very nice, the apartments are very nice," said resident David Shaeffer '11. Nonetheless, students currently living on School Street question the attraction of the building as campus housing because of the house's removed location and intimate construction.
"A lot of the benefits to being on campus are the proximity to classes and the dining halls, [and] you're just not really close enough to benefit from those," said Shaeffer.
Senior Greg Tabak, another School Street resident, also noted that this year's boarders chose to rent the four apartments together, and said that much of the appeal of School Street is that the house allows a close group of friends to occupy the two doubles and two triples.
"It would be very strange to live here with people [I wasn't] friends with...if I couldn't control who else I was living with," said Tabak.
Although the School Street property is unique because of its expansive size, there are still a variety of available apartments in the Brunswick area for students who wish to live off-campus.
"Next year I'm going to have to live in an apartment and pay rent and pay bills, [and] it's a little more of a grown-up experience [living off-campus now]," said senior Danny Chaffetz, who is currently a resident at School Street.
While a similar number of students would likely live at School Street regardless of whether the apartments were named "on" or "off" campus, Rendall said options will increase for students who "have no interest in negotiating the logistics of off campus housing" by designating the property as part of the College.
The need to increase campus housing to meet student need is, in part, due to the swelling student population. The 510 students in the Class of 2014 mark the largest class in Bowdoin history.
Rendall said that the only housing change in the 2010-2011 year was the transformation of 10 Osher and West Hall doubles to triples. The 17 quintuple rooms implemented in the first year dorms for the 2009-2010 year have also remained.
"At first I thought it would be pretty cramped, but we got our stuff all packed away and I like both my roommates a lot so it works out well," said Sean Kilpatrick '14 of his West Hall triple.
According to Rendall, the College is not yet actively searching for more housing, nor does it have plans for significant future construction or renovations.
"We investigate the suitability of any additional housing opportunities that present themselves...We do have a strategic plan for our residential future, but that plan is on hold until the economic climate improves," said Rendall.