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Castle renovation will not alter class sizes

On Jan. 25, the administration announced plans to tear down most of Usen Castle to make way for new residence halls that will accommodate approximately 60 percent more students, according to Lisa Lynch’s email to the Brandeis community.

Usen Castle has been home to Brandeis undergraduates since the 1950s. According to Tim Touchette, the director of the Department of Community Living, the estimates for housing demand correlate with overall enrollment. “Brandeis currently houses over 80 percent of our undergraduate students,” said Touchette.

The Brandeis Hoot reached out to DCL for details about how the renovation will affect the undergraduate community.

For the past two years, Brandeis has been able to accommodate the undergraduate population of about 3,550, with additional housing capacity left in the spring after all mid-year, transfer students and waiting list students were accommodated.

After carefully evaluating the trends in enrollment and housing demand, the DCL determined that if housing demand remains steady, the loss of the 100 beds that the Castle provided should not require any shifts in class size for the fall or spring, and the same percentage of students will be able to remain living on campus. Students who reside in the castle in the fall of 2016 and want housing for the spring of 2017 will be offered alternate living arrangements.

As for changes in enrollment, the administration recognizes that even a slightly larger first year class or an increase in returning students could potentially place more pressure on space the following year. This situation is being carefully monitored by the DCL and may result in Brandeis having to limit the housing offered to new transfer students for one semester.

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