Centre News

Centre College purchases property in Danville's Historic District to use for student housing

July 3, 2013 By Michael Strysick        
Centre College, 5th Street, Danville Hospital, student housing The property at 136 N. 5th Street, which served as Danville's
first hospital, will house 16 Centre students this fall.

Centre College, Breckinridge Hall, student housing Breckinridge Hall was built in 1892 and is one of the 14 historic
buildings on Centre's campus. Originally part of Danville
Theological Seminary, it has housed Centre students for
over a century.

Centre College, Breeze House, student housing Centre's Breeze House dates to 1900. For many years it housed
the Student Life and Communications Offices; in 2011, the
building was remodeled into a residence hall.

Centre College, Stuart Hall, student housing Stuart Hall, circa 1915, used to be the home of the Centre
bookstore. It currently houses upper classmen.

Centre College recently purchased a century-old property in Danville's historic district that will be converted to college housing in time for the arrival of students in late August. Since the property has recently served as an apartment complex, only minimal renovations will need to be completed over the summer before 16 rising sophomores, juniors and seniors call the historic property at 136 North Fifth Street home in the new academic year.

Built in the first decade of the twentieth century as a home for Dr. Fayette Montgomery, a group of local doctors established the property as a community hospital in 1912, the first for Danville and Boyle County, with 11 beds and an operating room on the second floor.

While Centre holds a leadership position among all Kentucky colleges and universities in terms of sustainable building practices, with four LEED-certified buildings and two at the gold level, purchase of the old hospital building is part of the College's commitment to historic preservation. As one of the nation's oldest colleges, Centre has a long tradition of respecting the past. In fact, a total of 14 National Register buildings listed either individually or as part of historic districts grace Centre's campus, which includes 67 buildings on 152 acres.

The need for additional student housing results from continued success not only meeting but also exceeding recruitment goals, in addition to Centre's strategic initiative to grow modestly and reach an enrollment of 1,425 by the fall of 2016 or no later than 2017. Fall 2012 enrollment stood at 1,344, and fall 2013 enrollment is anticipated to be at or around 1,375.

According to John A. Roush, Centre's president, "The fact that we are an increasingly attractive college choice to bright and talented students from Kentucky, and throughout the nation and across the globe, plus the need for us to renovate and refurbish any number of current residence halls, puts us in the position of needing to add modestly to our bed inventory.

"The Fifth Street building," adds Roush, "is an ideal 16-bed unit that complements nicely our inventory of bed space, and one that allows us to sustain an important historic property on Fifth Street and round out our presence there."

Randy Hays, vice president and dean of students, oversees residence life and says that "older buildings remain an attractive option for Centre students." He, too, is excited about having another historic property available for upper-class students. Other options include Breckinridge Hall (1892), Breeze House (circa 1900), and Stuart Hall (circa 1915).

As is typical, even with smaller buildings such as Breeze and Stuart, a resident assistant will live in the building.

Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail centrenews@centre.edu or contact the Communications Office at 859-238-5748.

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