Last week, the College announced a new housing option for rising juniors and seniors at the Edge at Union Station, an apartment complex less than two miles away from campus. As the College faces its largest senior, junior, and sophomore classes in history next academic year, this new housing alternative will aim to alleviate the pressure that these swelling class sizes have placed on the housing system.
According to Edwin Coolbaugh, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life and Housing, it is anticipated that about 90 students, a combination of juniors and seniors, will live at the Edge. Regardless of whether the Edge is occupied by primarily juniors or seniors, the new housing option will have a trickle down effect that will serve to benefit all students by opening up more beds elsewhere on campus.
Holy Cross students will be able to live in fully-furnished four bedroom, 4.5 bathroom apartments with single bedrooms, private bathrooms, central air conditioning, and high-speed wifi. The apartments comes fully furnished with a 50 inch, flat screen cable TV and stand, dining table for four, coffee table, couch, and armchair. Each unit also has its own washer and dryer in the apartment which can be used for no additional charge.
The bedrooms offer full-sized XL beds, a desk, dresser, ceiling fan, spacious walk-in closet, and private full-bathroom complete with a tub. Both apartments and individual bedrooms can be unlocked via key fob. High ceilings, exposed brick, and track lighting also add to the building’s industrial feel.
According to Michele Murray, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, “The Edge will offer allow Holy Cross to expand our housing offerings, allowing Holy Cross students to experience off-campus living while enjoying many of the benefits of living on campus.”
Since the Edge will be considered “hybrid housing”, not fully-residential housing with on-duty RAs but not “off campus” housing, athletes on athletic scholarship and other students with financial aid covering housing will be able to travel to the Edge with their grants, which is not true for said students who choose to live in off-campus houses that are not owned by the College.
Much like in Figge or Williams Halls, each floor has its own trash and recycling facility. The housing price for the Edge will also be equivalent to that for the senior apartments, although students may not be required to purchase an apartment meal plan. One key difference between the Edge and the on-campus senior apartments, however, is that the Edge does not offer housekeeping services.
Both the College and the Edge will each run regular shuttles to and from the Hogan Campus Center. Students hoping to bypass or supplement the regular shuttles offered by Holy Cross and the Edge with their own cars will be responsible for finding parking at one of nearby garages run by the City of Worcester.
The Edge, located in the completely renovated historic Osgood Bradley building, is marked by its factory-like exterior and brutalist, industrial interior––featuring exposed columns, concrete floors, and neighboring Union Station inspired train decor. While one side of the building does face I-290, the abundant concrete serves to mute the sounds of nearby traffic.
The Edge features many additional amenities for students. The twenty-four hour fitness center, complete with exercise machines, weights, and even a studio that offers yoga classes, is likely to be a draw for students who have expressed recent frustrations over the state of the College’s athletic facilities during the ongoing fieldhouse renovations.
The basement also offers a retro-themed study room decorated with rock albums and typewriters that serves as a quiet escape and place to study away from campus. This nostalgic theme continues into the social room, which features arcade games like Pac-Man, as well as several TVs, a pool table, and communal kitchen with plenty of seating. Down the hall one can find a more modern game room with plenty of TVs, perfect for playing video games or watching sporting events.
The building consists of eight residential floors with a total maximum occupancy of 251 people. Students will share the building with other Worcester area college students, graduate students, and young professionals. The apartments are within walking distance to downtown Worcester and Shrewsbury Street, and next door to historic Union Station, offering easy commuter rail access to Boston.
The Office of Residence Life and Housing will be reaching out to current sophomores and juniors with information regarding the application and selection process.
Photos by Hui Li ’21.