By Catalina Righter
Within the last two weeks, the Office of Buildings and Grounds was offered the opportunity to purchase property at 206 Campus Ave., the street that runs perpendicular to Washington Ave. The woman looking to sell the house was an alumni of the college.
“The College has been approached by the owner with an offer to purchase the property, and we are investigating whether additional residential capacity for visiting scholars or others would be helpful,” said Reid Raudenbush, director of physical plant. “The College has not made an offer to the owner at this time.”
Raudenbush said the older home was “cute” but “quite small,” limiting the possibilities of its use for functions like housing distinguished guests of the college. At this time, the Office of Buildings and Grounds did not see “reason to justify the expenditure” in purchasing the property and so did not seek financial approval to do so.
The owner of another house located at 212 Campus Ave. also expressed interest in selling their property to the College. “They approached us about three months ago. We did not make an offer,” said Raudenbush. When the College followed up with the owners, another party had made an offer. The College did not choose to make a counteroffer.
Those surrounding properties “have more appeal,” according to Raudenbush, but “the College is not looking to purchase anything at this time.”
Currently, there are several houses in Chestertown owned by the College that serve various purposes from housing visitors of the College to serving as the publications office for The Elm and “The Collegian.”
One such property, the Henry house, was purchased in 2007 by the College and serves as a residence for Patrick Henry Fellows. As with many properties in Chestertown, the house is historic, dating back to around 1735 .
According to the WC website another building, Brown Cottage, located at 200 Campus Ave., “offers distinguished guests of the College comfortable overnight accommodations and spacious living and dining areas for entertaining,” according to the WC website. The cottage was gifted to the college by alumna Eugene B. Casey, Class of 1947.
Other college-owned propeties include the Hillel House which was dedicated in 2013, a residence for distinguished literary guests, and the Sears Publishing House which was purchased by the College as a Sears and Roebuck house-building kit in 1930.