The Residential Fellows Program is new for Lehigh. Some other colleges and universities have these programs well established, but Lehigh is just starting out. Once Braydon and I had made the decision that we would become Lehigh’s first “Faculty Family in Residence,” the big question became where would we live? We worked in close collaboration with Residence Life staff at Lehigh to determine that the area of campus known as ‘Sayre Park Village’ would be the ideal place for our family. We chose Sayre because of its open green spaces that would allow for our kids to play outside in a relatively safe, quiet, set-to-the-side-of-campus environment.
Sayre includes a community center (called “The Lodge”), and three ‘dorms’ /buildings, each of which houses four floors worth of student apartments. We decided on a 3-bedroom apartment on the second (but ground-floor) floor of the middle building. There were many factors that went into our focusing on this particular apartment (it was slightly larger than many others; it was right next door to the building’s main lounge; it has a beautiful view from the back windows; etc.), but the biggest reason we chose it was because just downstairs from this apartment is a large storage facility that could become ours. Having the storage space in the basement was key! So we went with Sayre House B, Apartment 230.
We spent several months working with an incredible team of Lehigh architects, project planners, Residence Life staff, Residential Services staff, Auxiliary Services, etc. planning to maximize upon the 800-square-foot apartment to become “home” for a faculty family of five. These folks were AMAZING!
As soon as the students moved out in May, the construction crew got right to work. For Braydon and I, it was an incredible experience to be involved in, and then witness, the transformation from an apartment in a student dorm to a beautiful campus home for our family. We were truly blown away by Lehigh’s commitment to this project and the attention-to-detail with which they carried out the renovation.
And here is a bit of the progression from demolition to renovation:
And now it is our Residential Fellow home sweet home for the J-M Family. Here are some ‘After’ Photos:
I have to say: it has been such an amazing experience to be a part of! Now that we have been living here a month, I so appreciate every detail and carefully-thought-through plan. It truly feels spacious to us! We are so thankful for this opportunity. And we are loving living here!