Knox acquires two new buildings

Knox’s growth has had the college spreading out, which prompted the acquisition of two buildings on the edge of the campus known as Miss Piggee’s and RFMS. Miss Piggee’s is located on Academy Street, two houses south of the Human Rights Center.

With the addition of Miss Piggee’s to Knox, the College now owns all of the properties on the Academy Street side of the block, save one. The Student Development Office plans to specifically use the building for student programming.

“[W]e are literally squeezed for space on campus as everyone at Knox knows,” said Dean of Students Xavier Romano. “The needs of students in regards to space are simply massive and this is never lost on me.”

Knox clubs, organizations, non-residential Greeks, and Greek colonies will be able to reserve this space for meetings and activities. Romano also feels that finding the financial resources to put Miss Piggee’s into use will be “manageable.”

“The property had been on the market for the better part of a year I seem to recall but the initial price was not in sync with the property value. We are patient at Knox and even more so when we are dealing with property acquisition,” he said. “Eventually the seller was motivated to sell and it was then that there was a meeting of the minds.”

There are different plans for the RFMS building. A one-story brick building, RFMS lies on the northeast corner of South and Cherry Streets, diagonally across from GDH.

“The building has been empty for some time. We approached its owner through a trustee who lives in Galesburg and who knows the owner. We negotiated a buying price,” said Dean Lawrence Breitborde, which will be utilized for “mixed use” (both academic and administrative offices).

The east side of the building will be the new location for the Public Relations Office (now on the first floor of the psychology wing in SMC). The west side of the building will provide new space for the Journalism program (including faculty offices, a media lab, student workspace and a lounge), as well more office space for additional faculty from other departments. There will also be two classrooms. One of these will be a smaller seminar room and the other will be a 20-25 seat classroom.

“We wanted more space to solve academic space needs but hadn’t thought about specific programs relocating there. I asked departments in GDH and the Old Jail if they had an interest in moving (that would have freed up office space in those two buildings). No one was interested. Journalism made its interest known from the outset,” said Breitborde.

“A potential donor has come forward who is discussing with the college providing the purchase price and some renovation costs and having the building named for his family,” said Breitborde, who said little else on these plans as no formal agreement has been made as of yet. RFMS is expected to be open and occupied by September 2008.

Sadie Arft


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