Recently-acquired Clinton apartments to be renovated for students

by Allison UllmannStaff Writer

Upperclassmen will now have another housing option with the acquisition of Clinton Apartments.

According to Ken Birkenholtz, vice president of business and finance, Simpson took possession of the Clinton Apartments on Oct. 1, 2007. Simpson acquired the apartments from Godwin Family Investments, L.C. Simpson also acquired Washington/Colonial and Station Square Apartments through Godwin Investments.

“As our enrollment grows, we feel the need for additional housing opportunities,” Birkenholtz said. “Acquiring neighborhood apartments is something that has worked well for us over the past several years.”

Birkenholtz said that the building will be split in half. Next summer, Simpson will renovate one half for student housing and the other half will remain available to the general public. Birkenholtz envisions some renovations to occur in summer of 2008 to the half of the building that is being converted to student housing. Those renovations would most likely include a fire sprinkler system, new windows, window and floor coverings. The building will also be wired to allow campus phone and IT access for the building.

“Looking ahead, our financial model is a growth model and as we’re looking where we go with that, we’re going to need housing for more students,” Birkenholtz said. “Apartments are also a popular option with students and we can probably also increase the percentage of students housed on campus by offering what is a proven popular choice.”

According to Mandy Fox, director of Residence Life, there are currently 16 Simpson students living in the Clinton Apartments who have signed a lease and are tenants. Some of those students participated in room selection, wanted an apartment but didn’t get one. Those students were then released from their housing arrangements in order for them to live off-campus and to sign a lease to live in the Clinton Apartments.

“We will have Clinton Apartments available for room selection this spring,” Fox said. “Through room selection, my goal is to have all future juniors be able to have apartments and, with Clinton, I think that it will be able to happen.”

Fox said that owning the Clinton Apartments will help fix housing problems and many students will enjoy having these apartments as another option.

“I think that it will just alleviate occupancy issues for us,” Fox said. “I think that some people will view them as very valuable and it would feel more off-campus living near other Indianola residents and I think that some people would enjoy that. It is another block-and-a-half away, and I think that would be the disadvantage, but I think that some students would really like the layout better.”

Junior Keith Bryan has lived in Clinton Apartments since the end of August. Bryan decided to live in Clinton because there weren’t many other on-campus options.

“The reason I chose to live here was because of the lack of housing options that were given to my group,” Bryan said. “We were the first alternate group for apartment selections and none opened up. Our options were to live in Buxton or a theme house. Not all of our group could decide to go with the house so we inquired about living off campus in Clinton where other students had lived before. The apartments were much more spacious than Buxton and we wouldn’t have to deal with eight people total in one unit like if we lived in a theme house.”

Senior Mack Worthington believes that Simpson owning Clinton Apartments will benefit students and the college as well.

“I feel that this was a very good move on Simpson’s part because the building has the potential to be just as nice as Station Square and the other apartments just renovated last summer,” Worthington said. “This will also help out with the housing crunch. Clinton will benefit Simpson because it provides another large housing unit option close to campus.”

Junior Samantha Roff said that she decided to live off-campus instead of in Simpson housing and that she hopes Simpson won’t make too many changes to the apartments.

“I feel that I chose to live off campus for a reason,” Roff said. “If they choose to keep the Clinton apartments to more of an off-campus housing situation with few changes to how it is now, then I think it will be alright. Living in the Clinton apartments is a good way to learn how to live on your own. For example, it’s a way to learn how to make rent payments on time and to take on the responsibilities of living on your own. I think that Simpson will benefit to some degree, but only if they keep the apartments at a ‘minimal on-campus apartment.'”

Junior Cal Busby said that by having the Clinton Apartments as a housing option, it will help increase the number of students that decide to live on campus.

“If Simpson can offer enough housing for everyone, then it will definitely increase the percentage of kids that stick around on campus,” Busby said. “Housing is a big part of college and having Clinton as a housing option will help all juniors and seniors get the opportunity to live in an apartment.”