ERIC Number: EJ792513
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
Stores of Knowledge: New England Colleges Are Turning Retail Space into Classrooms
Neal, Albert E.
Connection: The Journal of the New England Board of Higher Education, v17 n1 p26-28 Sum 2002
Kids are frequenting some old New England department stores again. They are not buying CDs and jeans; they are investing in certificates and degrees. The University of Rhode Island and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth have purchased former retail space in historic downtown buildings--and refurbished them for educational uses. Boston University houses its School of Hospitality Administration in a former Cadillac dealership. Maine College of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design and Montserrat College of Art have all converted vacant downtown stores to gallery space. After Housatonic Community College spent $27 million renovating the dilapidated Hi-Ho mall in Bridgeport, Connecticut, enrollment grew so fast, administrators began looking for more space--this time, in a former Sears building. College officials find rehabilitating old downtown stores attractive for several reasons. Fixing up an existing building can be more cost-efficient than buying land and building from scratch. Town-gown relations are improved as the institution's investment helps reinvigorate the central business districts and strengthen community ties. The college can also show the community its commitment to the environment by applying sustainable architectural practices to the site. Since department stores tended to be located right in the middle of downtowns, these buildings offer a central location for a sometimes-overlooked student market.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nebhe.org/connection.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; Rhode Island; Vermont