Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Growing Pains

Coming Soon:  Commonwealth College 1,500 beds

In his May 15 appearance before Amherst Town Meeting to pitch the joint town/gown study on coexisting in harmony, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy proactively addressed the #1 criticism leveled at UMass/Amherst:  build more housing to keep students on campus.

The Chancellor clearly pointed out that this fall, when Commonwealth College Residential housing goes on line (1,500 beds), UMass/Amherst will be #3 in the nation for housing students on campus. 

The relatively recent construction of "North Residential" also added 800 beds.

North Residential housing complex

And when Commonwealth College dorms come on line they, like North Residential, will not pay property taxes, even though both will be protected by the Amherst Fire Department.

This year AFD cost taxpayers just over $4 million to fund yet they spend 23% of their time dealing with UMass.

Graph courtesy Amherst Firefighters Local 1764

Umass is scheduled to grow over a ten year period at only 300 students per year.  Had the Gateway Project not been scuttled by noisy NIMBYs that alone would handled a couple of years worth of growth.

And of course The Retreat, a taxpaying student development in northeast Amherst would also absorb a couple of years worth of UMass growth.  If it ever gets built. 

Or, if provincial Amherst Town Meeting had only approved Form Based Zoning in village centers last year we would already be seeing mixed use buildings going up in North Amherst to greatly stimulate both commercial and residential stock.  

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gateway was moving more students closer to neighborhoods and town. They need to build at the core not the periphery.

Anonymous said...

Larry just watched you leave town hall, get into your Nissan Juke and make an illegal left turn onto Main street, where it is clearly posted no left turn. Try following the rules next time.

Larry Kelley said...

Back in the day it was legal.

Dr. Ed said...

What people don't realize is that there will eventually be 6,500 beds in Communist College. That's 1,000 more than all of Southwest!

Larry, don't you remember Southwest being built? It wasn't all there at once...

Anonymous said...

The new Commonwealth College dorms knocked out my favorite parking lot. The price of progress I guess.

Speaking of illegal lefts onto Main from Boltwood, is the APD aware of the ticket bonanza they could score there? Just station a motorcycle officer or two nearby on a Saturday when UMass is in session and clean up.

Anonymous said...

How dare you call it "Communist College." Go eat dirt.

Tom McBride said...

It's painfully obvious, .....the student housing problem. I know the legislators in Boston keep putting money into the University, and money for more students, but don't tackle the housing problem. Taxpayers in the Commonwealth LOVE the University, want to send their children there, and the politicians know that. The problem is UMass is 100 miles from Boston, and they don't really know what is going on in our town.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, Communist College, Ed's alma mater that he wasted the better part of his life attending for a useless degree, and that he's clearly having a great deal of trouble separating from...

Ed, why do you always assume "people don't realize"? Do you really believe you "realize" so much more than "people"?

Walter Graff said...

What sort of degree do you have Ed if I may ask?

Walter Graff said...

Can't 300 students a year easily be put in illegal housing scenarios around town. If 150 rentals simply add two illegal beds it's all good.

Anonymous said...

It's not the type of degree that makes it useless, it's who possesses it. A 14k gold acorn is worthless if it is owned by a squirrel.

Anonymous said...

Again, we talk about bullying....

Anonymous said...

Ed's jealous because Commonwealth College selects you, rather than you select it. They offer it to high achieving high school students to attract them to UMass. Left Ed out? Hmm...no surprise.

Walter Graff said...

"It's not the type of degree that makes it useless, it's who possesses it. A 14k gold acorn is worthless if it is owned by a squirrel."

Don't tell the squirrel that.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to know of the 900+ in town responses how many are for student rentals. Basically what is the increased cost of having so many students living in town. It would give us a better understanding of the real costs vs property taxes from rent that we receive.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see this housing is being built at the heart of the campus. It shows it can be done.

Dr. Ed said...

Ed's jealous because Commonwealth College selects you, rather than you select it

I didn't know that the Communist College had a post-doc program....

Anonymous said...

You don't refer to yourself as doctor unless you are a physician, or pompous.

Anonymous said...

The Commonwealth College is housing its students since it's a better experience for them, right? Why not house more of the regular university students also and create more of a community on campus?

Walter Graff said...

Aren't all physicians pompous? So let him call himself what he wants. Must make you feel big to pick on Ed. Such a loser.

Anonymous said...

Ed's getting back what he's been giving for some time now. Are you aware of the history of the blogs in this town, Walter? You ought to go back to the very beginning, see who dishes it out, and who can and can't take it...

Anonymous said...

Walter Graff asked: Aren't all physicians pompous?

No, not at all. It's just your perspective on things.

Some physicians, for example, sacrifice their opportunities here in the states, opting instead to live in third world countries caring for children stricken by disease and famine. That does not strike me as pompous.

Did you intend to say that all physicians in Amherst are pompous?

Dr. Ed said...

Dr. Ed has never engaged in cyber bullying -- I have asked pointed public policy questions, yes. I have asked questions about the qualifications of highly paid public employees, yes. But I've never engaged in malicious ad-hominem attacks on another, not knowingly, and I am quite certain that I have not revealed confidential and privileged information about another.

I have a piece pf paper, signed by the appropriate university officials, that states that I am entitled to "all the rights and privileges" of a doctorate, and that includes the right to use the title. So I will, much like unmarried women insist on "Ms."

Or how a certain late bicyclist and his friends insist on the use of the male pronoun to reference the individual. Isn't it interesting how "tolerance" extends in that direction and not in others, isn't it? Isn't it interesting how we are expected to be tolerant of certain things, but (while we mouth the words) we can be incredibly intolerant of other things, with impunity.

Dr. Ed has had enough of being bullied by cowardly anonymous spineless schmucks. Yes, it does say more about you than me. It says even more about the state of modern education.

Anonymous said...

Oh poor poor Eddie. Lets not pick on poor little Eddie. His best friend Wally has asked us so nicely.

Anonymous said...

If you get online and say "don't trust this person" and you use their name and they are local to a large portion of the readership...

Is that a pointed policy question?

What is it?

Anonymous said...

And you can't say "Oh Brave New World".

If you're brave enough to answer this question, ed, I have some more for you.

Anonymous said...

It says a lot about ed that the people he attacks online are in professional positions that require a modicum of decorum that precludes them from engaging in the kind of vulgar trash-talking he spews on this and other blogs.

It's all catalogued in chronological order for all to see. Start from the beginning...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ed has had enough of being bullied by cowardly anonymous spineless schmucks. Yes, it does say more about you than me. It says even more about the state of modern education.

Oh really, it says something about "modern education"? how so?

Anonymous said...

Typical dr. ed m.o. ... when the going gets tough, the "tough" get going...