New Residence Commons Unveiled
Beginning in August, Rensselaer students will have a new campus housing option in the heart of downtown Troy. The Institute held a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 15 to unveil a project that has converted the former Best Western Rensselaer Inn into a residence commons to house undergraduate students.
The Howard N. Blitman, P.E. ’50 Residence Commons expands housing options for undergraduates while bringing approximately 300 students downtown to engage in the vibrant community of Troy. The new residence commons is situated at the bottom of the Rensselaer Approach, the century-old granite staircase that symbolizes the connection between the City of Troy and the Institute.
“We honor his magnificent gift to create the Howard N. Blitman, P.E. ’50 Commons,” President Jackson said. “This gesture comes full circle for the Blitman family, because in 1954, it was the visionary leadership, and the generous contribution of Howard’s father, Charles, which enabled the completion ofat the timethe state-of-the-art Commons Dining Facility, and four modern residence halls on Freshman Hill, in time for the incoming classes of 1954.
“Within this hallmark residence commons, we will build a complete living and learning communitya place designed to foster a sense of belonging, and a feeling of community,” President Jackson added. “It will be a place in which students can feel at home, with trusted people who will live on site. Our students will share meals together, work and study together, have fun togetheras a communityin this unique space, which will join our campus community with life in the City of Troy.”
The building underwent a complete renovation and modernization, including replacement of the building structure and roof, exterior walls, installation of new safety systems, and upgrading of interior furniture and fixtures.