Gap students to call Spinner Place home

? The doors to Spinner Place will soon be closing on traditional students hoping to live there this fall. ? Under a recently negotiated master lease, UVM will soon hold the keys to the Winooski apartment complex that has housed students since its inception. This policy change will limit availability only to gap students within the guaranteed admission program. ? The guaranteed admission program is designed for applicants who may be ineligible for traditional admissions but enter into a contract with the University which grants them acceptance if they study for two semesters at UVM while maintaining 3.0 grade-point average. ?             Of the nearly 100 gap students who participate in the program each semester, UVM will now be able to house 38 of them under one roof at Spinner Place, with additional space for a residential director. ? The hope is to create a unique “learning community” and ease the transition from high school or another college, according to Beth Taylor-Nolan, assistant dean of the Continuing Education office, which sponsors the guaranteed admission program. ?             “The majority of [gap] students live in the community and it’s been a real challenge,” Taylor-Nolan said. “The data shows that when transitioning, it is ideal to have a learning community.” ? UVM will now manage all aspects of Spinner Place, and instead of applying to live there directly through the apartment complex, interested gap students will have to send their materials to the University. Once they are accepted, the students will pay their monthly rent to UVM. ? “We’re really excited,” she said. “We really haven’t had any access to University housing in the last 10 years.” ? Karissa DeLisle directs marketing for HallKeen Management, a Boston-based real estate company that has holdings throughout New England, including Spinner Place and other student housing. ? DeLisle called the new negotiation between UVM and Spinner Place a “win-win” for both parties, explaining that under the agreement a guaranteed number of students will fill the rooms at the apartment building, and the application process may now be easier for students wishing to live there. ? “We’ve loved having UVM students at Spinner Place,” she said. “The relationship is still very similar.” ?             Asked if she had heard any criticism from the UVM student body, Taylor-Nolan said she was unaware of any negative reception to the program, mentioning that existing students at Spinner Place were offered the chance to continue their living arrangement, but most opted not to. ?             “It’s typically [gap students] who feel slighted in terms of access to housing,” Taylor-Nolan said, indicating that when the University’s student population ballooned in recent years, Continuing Education students were pushed out of priority housing. ?             Director of Residential Life Stacey Miller was also optimistic about the program, adding that traditionally Spinner Place has not been a major draw for UVM students looking for off-campus housing and that not everyone living on the designated UVM floor of the building is a current student. ?             In fact, Champlain College students fill the majority of beds at Spinner Place, Miller said. ?             “Unfortunately a lot of students didn’t want to live there,” she said. “It will help the gap students because some choose not even to come if they don’t have housing.” ?             Most students were indifferent when asked their impressions of the Spinner Place overhaul as it moves toward housing more Continuing Education students. ?             Senior Lisa Konieczny lives in an apartment downtown and thought that housing in the area is an issue, given that there are “only so many places to live,” but did not think the Spinner Place housing shift will effect too many students. ?             “Because it’s in Winooski, it’s less of an issue,” Konieczny said. “If [Spinner Place] was more central, then it would be a problem.”