Trembley Park, an apartment complex located south of the University Center that houses 196 upperclassmen, is being demolished in the next few years. Housing options for students include the newly constructed dorms or Southside Commons. (Natalie Morgan/ B&W Staff)

Students react to Trembley Park demolition, new residential buildings

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A primary aspect of Lehigh’s Path to Prominence plan is the expansion of the university’s student body. As a result, drastic alterations are being made to Lehigh’s housing, including the demolition of Trembley Park. 

Trembley Park is an apartment complex located south of the University Center and houses 196 upperclassmen.

Norah Sanoury, ’22, currently lives in Trembley. It was her first housing choice in the lottery system. 

“I like where it is on campus because it’s so close to the UC, so whenever I’m hungry, it’s convenient,” Sanoury said. “It is also in the middle of campus, so everything is average walking distance.”

Maddie Rosenthal, ’20, lived in Trembley her sophomore year.

“I thought it was a really good place to live,” Rosenthal said.” It was very close to the UC, and for living in an apartment on campus as a sophomore, I didn’t have any complaints.”

While some students may be sad to see Trembley go, University Architect Brent Stringfellow is optimistic about the facilities that will replace Trembley. He believes they will have a good impact on campus. 

Stringfellow said in a proposed plan in 2012, there was preparation for additional growth on campus and as a result, Lehigh needed to create more housing options.

The strategic growth plan is divided into phases. The new residential dorms, Hitch and Madia Houses, will serve as housing for a total of 720 students. In addition, SouthSide Commons will also accommodate new students. 

Phase one includes the removal of House 82, previously the Kappa Delta sorority house, and its parking lot. Lehigh aims to complete construction by summer 2020, and the new housing will include 405 new beds, a fitness center and amenities. 

Stringfellow said phase two will start after the demolition of Trembley, but it is unclear if it will be completed by 2022, 2023 or even 2024. 

Phase two will connect with the renovated UC, visible from the front lawn.

“We are doing a lot of land work to create a flat field — the idea is for students to be able to throw a frisbee and hang out,”  Stringfellow said. 

Stringfellow said the rooms in the new housing will be semi-suites, a traditional dorm double that shares a common vestibule space, toilet and shower.

He said they will be a hybrid of traditional dorms and apartments.  

Additionally, each floor has 24-30 beds. While most rooms have two single beds, Gryphons are provided with double-sized mattresses. Each floor will have a small and large lounge for study and social gatherings.

Stringfellow said building more facilities in the Trembley location will allow for centralized residential life and make the hill feel more incorporated into campus. 

“I think it will have a great impact on student life,” Stringfellow said. “We will be providing more amenities for students, which are difficult to do with our older spaces. Since Farrington Square is the last housing facility we built, which is now 15 years old, it will be great to have more newer facilities on campus.”

Besides the two new housing options, the remaining on-campus housing options include Farrington Square, Brodhead, Sayre and SouthSide Commons.

Although Southside Commons is not technically Lehigh property, it maintains a working relationship with Lehigh, as it is restricted to Lehigh students and remains a housing option, Stringfellow said. 

“I think the new changes seem like it will be a much more appealing place to live… I think people will look forward to living there,” Rosenthal said. 

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4 Comments

  1. Robert F Davenport Jr on

    “While some students may be sad to see Trembley go, University Architect Brent Stringfellow is optimistic about the facilities that will replace Trembley. He believes they will have a good impact on campus.” Prime location but ugly structures. The future sounds better.

    • The detriment of this recent and future development to the campus is the loss of mature trees which will take 50 years to replace. There is no attempt to save the trees during construction which is not environmentally sensitive in the least. Little by little this quaint historic woodland campus is turning urban and the proposed buildings take no cues from the historic architecture.

  2. Helen Richardson on

    I spent the longest decade of my life living in RH-11 as a junior in 75-76. It had just opened, and there were growing pains, such as a kitchen disposal that drained directly into the bathtub; walls so thin that my skinny 5’8″ roommate tripped on the vacuum cleaner and put her palm right through the wall to our room; leaky air-conditioning; closets the size of medium U-Haul boxes, and hearing the bell tower on the UC ring hourly every day and night,.

    • Embarrassed to Be Associated on

      Not surprised at all, although the story about your roommate made me chortle.

      “While most rooms have two single beds, Gryphons are provided with double-sized mattresses.” Why do they get double-sized mattresses? Isn’t it enough that they get free lodging?

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