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BMC rents apartments for student housing after closing of Haffner

Bryn Mawr is renting several apartments in Overbook for student housing. Photo by Tyler Garber, BMC '14.
Bryn Mawr is renting several apartments in Overbook for student housing. Photo by Tyler Garber, BMC ’14.

Bryn Mawr College students have taken up residence in eight Haverford College apartments this year, as a result of the discovery of asbestos in a student dorm.

Closing Haffner, a dorm and dining hall, means the campus is short of 78 beds, which BMC has remedied by placing students, who volunteered for the alternative housing, in private apartment rentals.

While performing a routine inspection of the residential and dining hall last year, employees found asbestos in the building’s ceiling piping. According to the College, the asbestos was not immediately dangerous to students and the removal process has now become part of a larger, previously-planned renovation project.

While BMC was already renting apartments at Mermont Plaza in Bryn Mawr, they added more as a result of Haffner’s closing, bringing the number of two-person apartments up to 18. Eight apartments at Haverford College and five four-person apartments in Overbrook are also currently occupied by students.

“As a senior I really enjoy living in the HCA particularly because it’s a more autonomous living environment than the Bryn Mawr dorms. In addition, I have enjoyed feeling a part of the Haverford community, it’s a refreshing change of pace from my past three years at Bryn Mawr,” said Grace Ewing BMC’14. Bryn Mawr students like Ewing living in HCA are placed on the Haverford meal plan.

Students who choose to live in Overbrook are given free SEPTA passes to travel to and from school. The apartments are furnished with cable, internet, a washer and dryer, refrigerator, microwave and a stove.

“I think the best part about it is not only being able to cook for ourselves, but also being able to get away from campus and have a space that is really non-academic you can call home,” said Tyler Garber BMC’14, who lives in Overbrook with several other seniors. “Living closer to Philly is great because it’s easier to go to the many events we attend in Philly, easier to catch a cab back. We’ve also made connections with small business owners in the neighborhood and have been meeting lots of new people which is always great.”

The college plans to renovate Haffner as both a residential space and the new location for their Black Cultural Center, beginning in the Fall of 2014.

Photos courtesy of Tyler Garber.

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