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  • Writer's pictureKAIT BEDELL & PAYTON HEBERT

Holt’s vacancy to be restored once enrollment goes up

As enrollment rates have decreased in the last two academic years, the Holt Residential Hall has remained vacant of Lasers.

Holt Residential Hall remains vacant of resident students as enrollment numbers are down, and will be until there is a need for housing. Photo by Kait Bedell

Despite the dorm not being occupied by the university’s students, Residential Life has been working with outside groups to generate revenue using the space.

According to Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Adrienne Franciosi, the university is renting out the space over summer and winter break periods.

As part of the schools’ strategic initiative, the last planning session implemented a Department of Revenue Enhancement headed by Franciosi which aims to generate outside income using Holt.

Among one of the groups the university looks to make a deal with are international students in high school and boarding schools who cannot go home over Thanksgiving break.

“The nice thing is that the program doesn’t conflict with our schedule and our students,” Franciosi said. “So that’s one opportunity that we’re working on.”

Franciosi said another benefit to this program is that it mostly consists of high school international students.

“We’re always eager to be working with high school age students because that’s a student that we can potentially put Lasell on their radar as a [university] to attend,” Franciosi said.

As the department looks to fill Holt with outside revenue, Franciosi said students are always the top priority when making these decisions.

“I just want to assure you too that when decisions like that are made, the student experience is always discussed,” Franciosi said.

While the university looks to put its own students back in Holt as soon as possible, Director of Residential Life Scott Lamphere said it is all dependent on enrollment numbers.

“Ultimately it depends on our student numbers. Our net capacity if you included Holt, Saunders, and Pickard would be about 1250 resident students. Right now we’re under 1000 resident students, so if we can get more undergrads, certainly I would want [Holt] back in the mix,” said Lamphere.

Lamphere said that the university’s decision to lower tuition was designed to help raise enrollment numbers, which will be reflected in residence halls accordingly.

“We’re really kind of marketing the price for what most students pay, rather than having a sticker price that looks a lot more than it really costs to go here,” Lam- phere said. “It’s going to be a tough road to reestablish those numbers, but if we can get 1200 resident students or more, that’s a lot more money that goes into all the things we’re trying to do student experience wise.”

Until the school reaches those numbers, those unused residence halls will remain an opportunity for the school to repurpose for different groups on and off campus.

Lamphere said that Mott House has become prioritized as a counseling build- ing, and houses used as isolation spaces for COVID are hopefully going to be ac- cessible to students in the near future.

As for Holt, Lamphere said it will most likely continue to be a multi-pur- pose space until the need for capacity becomes relevant. Until then, the building will continue to be a source for outside revenue rather than the building remain- ing completely vacant.


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