Campus Way houses to be relocated

By Alexandra Betzler

The three houses remaining along Macalester Street will soon find homes in different, nearby neighborhoods. Beginning in March, the college hopes to move the houses in order to make way for the development of the new softball and baseball fields. At least one of the three houses is definitely being moved, according to Director of Facilities Management Mark Dickinson, the colleges is still in the process of finding an appropriate lot for the other two.

Contractor Fred Lehmann, who will move the houses, is responsible for locating the necessary lots. Proximity to a new site is an important factor in determining whether a house can and will be moved, because of the scale of the project and road restrictions involved.

The process of moving the houses is expected to take four to five weeks, beginning in March and lasting until early April.

“[The contractor] is focusing his energies right now on moving,” Dickinson said. “If he comes to a road block, and is unable to move all of them, then he’ll probably go to Plan B, which is demolition.”

Moving a house costs between $15,000 to $25,000, depending on the seize of the house and where its being relocated, while demolition runs around $5,000 to $8,000. “It’s just an environmentally-friendly thing to do,” Dickinson said about the choice to move rather than demolish the houses.

“We want to have them moved if at all possible,” Dickinson said. “We’re paying a premium to do it, but…it’s the appropriate thing to do.”

If nearby lots cannot be found, alternate options will be explored.

“If [the contractor is] not able to move them, he’s going to then work on salvaging as much as he can out of the house before it’s demolished,” Dickinson said. “Depending on what he could salvage, depending on how much of the structure is left, whether the fire department is interested…we’d pursue all those different options.”

The fire department can use condemned houses as a learning experience. They will purposely start small fires throughout the structure, and then practice putting them out.

The college should know around mid-March whether any demolition will occur.

Previously rented to faculty and staff, the cottages have been used as student housing for the last three years.