by Jackson Bicknell, staff writer
Last year the Warren Wilson Trustees decided that the current President’s house had reached its last straw. Renovation wouldn’t be cost effective. The foundation is leaking water and the house isn’t conducive to the functions that it should serve.
“The new house will serve as a living room for the campus,” said president Steve Solnick.
The president envisions a place suitable enough to host large functions for students, teachers and anyone else affiliated with the college.
“It would be nice to have a place where students, faculty and staff can mix and mingle on campus,“ said Solnick. “The previous house wasn’t suited for entertainment. It was a constricted space that was really only built to accommodate two people.”
The new house will be geared towards providing an entertainment space to bring people, such as potential donors, visiting parents and prospective supporters to campus.
“We would like to have gatherings on a weekly basis,” Solnick said.
Solnick announced at last week’s Student Caucus meeting that the location for the new house will be the Fortune property, behind the Village dorms. According to Solnick, there are several advantages to building the house on Fortune property. Firstly, it is a space that could hold events of all different sizes, from events involving the entire faculty and student body, to smaller more intimate gatherings, like hosting speakers who visit campus, for example.
“When you are on that property, you see the mountains, the trees,” Solnick said. “You are able to connect to the area in a much more organic way than the previous location.”
The president hopes to build a new home that is not only cost-effective, but also sustainable and innovative, incorporating as much student labor efforts as possible. The college will be hiring a local building company, Deltec, a green building company based in Asheville. Deltec specializes in building round homes, which are much more energy efficient. The wood for the house will be harvested sustainably from Georgia. Building of round homes produces very little waste. Because the home will be prefabricated, the overall wood waste will be less than half of a trash bin.
Though Solnick showed pictures of preliminary models and blueprints, they are still in the design phase. The house is expected to be completed within one year.