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Thole House to replace Edelbrock


Thole House is located across the street from Edelbrock House and will replace the latter as an ILC in fall 2014. | Michael Terhaar

Residents of Edelbrock will be making the move across the street to Thole House effective fall 2014.

Thole House—current home of the Nature Conservancy offices—will be replacing Edelbrock House as an Intentional Living Community (ILC) for SJU students.

This decision was verified by administration Tuesday after the choice to discontinue use of Edelbrock was unveiled in an email to the current residents March 17.

“Using Thole was the more sutainable decision,” said SJU Director of Housing Dan McAvey. “Edelbrock was in rough shape and Thole was in better shape. It won’t be as much money put into it in the long-term.”

Current residents of Edelbrock are frustrated with the abrupt change in plans, but are also satisfied that Thole House will be available to students as an ILC.

“We’d like to see some more sustainable approaches to the problem in the future, but we are very happy to move into Thole house,” said senior and current Edelbrock resident Luke Muyskens.

Upon hearing the initial news that Edelbrock would be taken offline, residents began a petition which garnered support of the student body. However, this was not enough to sway the decision and keep Edelbrock on as an Eco-house.

“There are some things Edelbrock provides that Thole house won’t, but unfortunately they are all intangibles that can’t be used to argue with the administration,” Muyskens said. “For example, the house has a lot of history, and its location tucked back in the woods here is ideal. And of course we all have a strong emotional attachment to the house.”

In order to prepare Thole House for fall 2014, an egress window will be installed in the basement and a wall will be placed in the basement to form a double bedroom , in addition to general repairs such as painting and new flooring. Thole will house four students in two single bedrooms and one double.

Students interested in living in an ILC submit an application and are chosen by the current residents—a process which had already begun for Edelbrock fall 2014 residents, who will now be residing in Thole.

Although Thole will become an ILC, the Nature Conservancy will remain part of the SJU campus—the offices may relocate to the Quad, but Thole will still be used by the organization during the summer months.

“This partnership has been great for the CSB/SJU community and our students,” SJU President Michael Hemesath said in an email. “It also is part of our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship that has been a hallmark of this community since the monks established a presence here in 1857.”

The administration acknowledges the students’ initial frustration, but hopes that this outcome is a compromise of sorts for all involved.

“We cannot always address student concerns with the speed they and we would like, particularly for projects that require planning and construction,” Hemesath said. “Students of course have a time horizon of four years at most, while many projects require more time than that. But occasionally student desires and administrative logistics can result in a happy outcome for all involved—the availability of Thole House for fall of 2104 is a great example.”

Since Edelbrock will no longer be considered student housing and therefore not the responsibility of SJU Housing, the fate of the house is still unknown.

2 Responses

  1. Matt says:

    They better not burn it before they let the Alum’s know. That house has a lot of history in it.

  2. flaker says:

    They say they have a commitment to environmental stewardship; It’s much more environmentally friendly to fix and repair than to replace — let’s hope they don’t destroy Edelbrock house and replace it with yet another soulless building.

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