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September 20, 2017

New dorms represent a “wonderful marriage” of education and economic development

New dorms represent a “wonderful marriage” of education and economic development

Downtown Rutland’s Gryphon Building opens doors to Castleton students

By Evan Johnson

For college students looking to live off campus, finding adequate and affordable housing can be a hassle. Castleton University students now have housing that’s affordable and close to the offerings of downtown Rutland, thanks to new newly renovated apartments in the second floor of the Gryphon Building.

“These apartments are so much nicer than anything you or I ever lived in,” Castleton University president Dave Wolk said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, Sept. 18. “They’re modern, efficient, and have gorgeous views. Wait until you see them.”

Castleton University administrators joined with local representatives and Rutland City officials on the sidewalk at the intersection of Merchants Row and West Street in downtown Rutland for opening ceremony on Monday. Wolk addressed the group of about 50 people that spilled into the street. He characterized the opening of the apartments as “a wonderful marriage” of economic development and expanding education opportunities in the downtown area.

“This is just another representation of that marriage,” he said.

Rutland Mayor David Allaire described the opening as “a reality check.”

“Our downtown landscapes are changing,” he said in his remarks. “The days of having a retail mecca are evolving. Retail is still an important part of the mix, but we need to adapt. This sort of collaboration is exactly the direction we need to go.”
The new student housing is the latest in the University’s ongoing expansion into Rutland, which already hosts Castleton Downtown, the Castleton Polling Institute, the Castleton Center for Community Engagement, Spartan Arena, and several downtown art spaces including the Castleton Downtown Gallery.

The 10 studio apartments have a capacity of 32 students. The apartments feature full bathrooms and kitchens and tall windows with views onto the street. Residents will have easy access to shops and restaurants as well as internships or jobs in the downtown area.

Castleton senior Daniella Doolen is the community advisor for Gryphon residences. This semester, she’s interning at Rutland High School and next semester she plans to intern at the Rutland Intermediate School as part of her studies in education.

“Living here has been amazing,” she said. “I’ve had the support of the entire community, all of my residents, as well as the entire staff.”

Upstairs, Amber Houle, a Castleton senior from Rochester, Vt. was doing coursework in her apartment. Being close to home, Houle said she lived in residences on the Castleton campus for only a semester before she moved off campus to live with friends. Not wanting to sign a year-long lease before graduating in the spring, Houle said she found living downtown in the Gryphon apartments to be a welcome change of pace.

“It’s definitely different from living on campus,” she said. “It gives you the freedom to live downtown without having to worry about all the complications that come with it.”

Photo by Evan Johnson

Pictured left to right: Sen. Brian Collamore, Castleton student Daniella Doolen, Rep. Lawrence Cupoli, Rutland Mayor David Allaire, Sen. Peg Flory, Castleton University President Dave Wolk and Mark Foley Jr. before cutting  the ribbon for ten new apartments in the Gryphon Building.

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