A new addition to LFA’s campus: What went into the new Atlass apartments


Photo by Angie Cotton

New Atlass apartments by the parking lot.

Angie Cotton, Managing Editor of Features

Over the past few months, it has been very evident how much the Atlass dorm has changed from the construction going on. However, with the construction completed, there are now four new faculty apartments attached to the dorm. Here’s what went into it:

According to the Dean of Faculty Tom Johnson, the construction of the new Atlass apartments cost $1.8 million. This extension of the dorm was built out onto the parking lot. Johnson mentioned duing an interview that this has always been the initial design, along with the fact that this layout makes it appear as if the apartments are always supposed to have been there because they line up with neighboring buildings such as Cressey and the Science Center. The new apartments are surely a beneficial addition to the dorm, as it lowered  the student to faculty ratio from 18:1 to 9:1 in Atlass, which is closer to the 9:1 ratio other dorms on campus have.

These faculty apartments are essential to continue growing the LFA community. Johnson stated  that “because the cost-of-living in the Lake Forest area is quite high, we often cannot hire teachers from around the country or around the globe.” This is the case as LFA does provide housing for it’s faculty, even if that means residence has to be off-campus. However, this socioeconomic restriction simply doesn’t help LFA grow and maintain a global mindset. It simply isn’t convenient for a boarding school to spend so much money on off-campus residency while also trying to encourage a boarding program for students, at which on-campus faculty is a must.

In order to resolve this, new housing will continue being added on campus over the next several years.  Chief Financial Officer Mike Reidy notes that “While I’m sure we will have future instances where faculty have to wait for an opening on campus before they can move in, we feel like the current resident faculty level is sufficient to support the boarding program for all students.” Therefore, nothing that large or specific is necessarily in the works for now.

    Additionally, despite the annual Gala being virtual this year, $875,000 were  raised towards the construction of the new apartments, making it a huge success regardless of the given circumstances this year, as just about the same amount of funds were raised compared to previous years.

Yue Chen, a faculty member of many years who’s recently moved into one of the new Atlass apartments, mentions that although she and her family will have less privacy living in an apartment attached to  the dorm, she’s still very happy about moving in. “It saves my commute time and it’s very convenient to fire a kiln of students’ work.” She’s also happy about the fact that her apartment is close to Cressey, where she teaches the majority of her classes.

Regardless of everything that the LFA community has gone through over the past months, having a change this big and positive on campus is a refreshing sight, as well as one that faculty residing in the new apartments will be able to enjoy now.