Evergreen State College puts new dorms on hold over fear of declining enrollment

Evergreen State College is still paying the price for allowing far-left students to run rampant on campus last spring. Friday the Olympian reported that the school had decided to put off plans for a $42 million replacement dormitory out of concern that declining enrollment could make it difficult to handle the new debt. In fact, it wasn’t just Bridges who recommended putting this off, it was the bonding company that would raise the money.

A plan to replace some of the oldest dorms on The Evergreen State College’s Olympia campus has been delayed at least a year after concerns were raised about whether the project could be financed in the face of falling enrollment.

College President George Bridges made the recommendation during a special meeting of the board of trustees at the end of February. The board was set to take action on the project, which had been set to begin this spring…

Not only did the college president recommend a delay, but so did the college’s bonding company.

“Our bonding company also recommended the deferment because there is a chance that college revenue, which is tied to enrollment, might be insufficient to cover a new bond payment this coming year,” [Evergreen spokesman Zach] Powers said.

Enrollment currently is 3,637 students and that number is expected to be lower in the fall, he said.

The new dorm for freshmen was intended to replace a group of dorms which were built in the 1970s. Those dorms house up to 425 students. The replacement dormitory would house 375 students, though there is apparently some discussion over whether that’s the correct size.

Last fall Evergreen’s enrollment dropped by about 200 students or 5 percent. That drop was partly responsible for a $2.1 million budget deficit which necessitated a hiring freeze at the school. At the time, the school was rather optimistically predicting the downturn for the following year would be smaller. However, last month President Bridges predicted enrollment for 2018 could drop by as many as 700 students or 18.5 percent.

At the same meeting where the new dorms were put on hold, the school’s board of trustees approved dipping into an emergency fund to pay off expenses associated with last year’s fiasco, including moving the cost of holding graduation off campus and the cost of several settlements. The school settled lawsuits with biology professor Bret Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying as well as communications professor Naima Lowe.