SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

December 9, 2013

Letter: Grateful for community input on dorm

To the editor:

On Tuesday night, at a special meeting of the Salem State University Neighborhood Advisory Committee, the university presented revised plans for its new residence hall, scheduled to open on central campus in fall 2015. The new design came as the result of discussions with the city’s elected officials as well as with the South Salem community over the last several months. Concerns that we heard — and have responded to — related to the height of the wing adjacent to Loring Avenue. Working with our architects, we were able to reduce the height of that wing by one floor. Many of those in attendance expressed their appreciation for the change. The new facility will now house approximately 350 students.

We also heard from our neighbors about a number of continuing concerns that extend beyond the new residence hall, and we will continue to address them. Traffic management and more parking are the top priorities.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of the advisory committee for their efforts during this process, particularly Ward 7 City Councilor Joe O’Keefe and Ward 5 City Councilor Josh Turiel. I also want to thank Mayor Kim Driscoll for her continued support of the university, and her concerted efforts to ensure strong university/community relations.

We understand that any change of this magnitude at Salem State has an impact on our neighbors and the communities surrounding our campuses. We will continue to work with the advisory committee and those who live in our vicinity to address issues that arise during the construction process, and will persist in our efforts to strengthen our relationships with both our neighbors and the city as a whole.

As president of a university that is located in a largely residential setting, I know the importance of having a positive relationship among the university, the city and our neighbors. Working together, I believe we can do what’s best for our students while continuing to improve the impact we have in our community.

Patricia Maguire Meservey

President

Salem State University

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