Resident hall to be sold

Aug 232005
Authors: Lindsay Reiter

On the East side of campus, off of College Avenue, there used to lay a little known residence hall called Helmshire Hall.

Although not often heard about, for the past two years Helmshire Hall has been an alternative choice for upperclassmen who wanted to live in a residence hall.

Helmshire Hall was a suite-style residence hall, where each room had its own bathroom and was exclusively for upperclassmen. At the end of spring semester, 29 of the 48 available spaces in the hall had been filled.

But this semester the hall will lie vacant as a private party closes a deal to purchase the building from Colorado State University Research Foundation (CSURF.)

"Those students who had expressed interest in Helmshire Hall at the end of spring semester were given the choice to relocate to another residence hall, live in a university-owned apartment or get out of their contract without penalty," said Jim Dolak, executive director of Housing and Dining Services.

Many students expressed surprise upon hearing that a residence hall would be sold.

"Even though I never lived there, I was sad in a way. I was surprised to hear that it is closing," said Vanessa Morgan, junior apparel and merchandising major.

CSURF bought the building in 1999 with the intent to lease it to Housing and Dining Services.

"We were going to use it as year-round lodging for the conference center," Dolak said. "But the local bed and breakfasts filed a complaint with CCHE (Colorado Commission for Higher Education) who then directed us to sell the building."

The CCHE received a complaint stating that providing lodging for visitors to Fort Collins would take away business from the local bed and breakfasts. CCHE proceeded to order CSURF to sell the newly acquired building.

Helmshire Hall was never used for its intended purpose by Housing and Dining Services, but rather sat empty for three years while CSURF tried to sell it.

"As a result of overcrowding in the residence halls in 2003, CCHE approved us to use Helmshire Hall as temporary housing for students," Dolak said.

Over the course of the following two years, the housing market improved. The building is currently under contract to be sold. Kathleen Henry, president and CEO of CSURF, anticipates the contract will close in November.

"I believe the new owner is going to open the building as a bed and breakfast, boutique and restaurant," Dolak said.

The buyer could not be contacted for comment because the contract has not yet been completed.

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