From the September 27, 2007 issue
By Christopher Hannmann
Siena College is now the proud new owner of 33 Fiddlers Lane. The property, which consists of 8 acres of land and a three-story estate home, was constructed in 1927. It was purchased by the College for 2.2 million dollars. While school officials were looking to purchase the property since the beginning of the year, the deal was made final during the end of August. The property has temporarily been given the name of the ‘President’s House,’ although the College President does not plan to live at the residence. Eventually, school officials hope to encourage a donor to lend a name to the building through the College’s Capital Campagin.
The purchase of the multi-million dollar property was spurred by a number of important factors. According to Paul Stec, Vice President of Finance and Administration, the prime location of the property solidified the decision to purchase the estate. Stec comments “The property is very contiguous. It is immediately adjacent to campus, which will allow us (Siena) to use it as we see fit.” Stec also adds that the 8 acres of land will also allow for the campus to expand in the future.
According to Stec, the third story of the house provides a great amount of office space for faculty and staff, while the first and second floors provide ample opportunity for the College to host social events for members of the Siena Community. In addition to the home itself, the estate is also complete with a terrace, a garden and multiple courtyards, all of which are suitible for entertaining and hosting school related events.
Since the College’s purchase of the property in August, the School’s grounds crew has been hard at work restoring and cleaning up the exterior of the estate. Keith Volsky, Director of Grounds, has been put in charge of the new project. Volsky and his crew have already done a great deal of work on the property since the College’s acquisition.
Volsky states “There were many overgrown trees and shrubs that just weren’t being kept up. We’ve done a lot of weeding, trimming and overall landscape work on the new property.” In addition, Volsky also comments on working to connect the estate to the rest of the campus. In order to achieve this, the grounds crew recently paved a new road which connects the St. Francis House to the driveway of the new property.
For safety reasons, the property will be gated-off from the outside community but it will be easily accessible from the main campus. Therefore, a typical Siena student will most likely not frequent the newly aquired area of the campus. Instead, the area will be used to welcome friends of the College as well as welcome members of the Community.
“It’s an absolutely stunning place,” states Dr. Linda Richardson, Vice President of Academic Affairs, “The plans to utilize the new space to entertain guests should take some of the demand away from using the Sarazen Student Union. Hopefully, we can move forward in a joint effort to continue to make that space (SSU and Maloney Great Room) more accessible and friendly for students.”
The first event to be held at the President’s House will be a reception as part of the inaugural events for Fr. Kevin Mullen, OFM. It will be held on September 30th.