A former university satellite residence known as Cuthbertson House was recently moved off of Mount Allison University property and onto a new lot. The 115-ton house was moved from 84 to 88 York Street last Friday.
The house has been out of use for two years because the University Administration believed it was too costly to maintain. Michelle Strain, Mt. A’s director of Adminstrative Services, explained that the house was sold because it was a “surplus to our requirements and has been vacant for the past few years.”
The house was sold to Jim Throop of Throop Signs and Graphics Ltd. Throop plans to rent the house to off-campus students as early as the spring.
Throop sees his purchase as an environmentally conscious endeavour. He said that he bought the house and is recycling it because of its historic value, but also because to do so would be more environmentally friendly than building a new house.
As a Sackville native, Throop said he sees properties like Cuthbertson as part of “the fabric of who we are.” Throop is glad that the property will not be demolished and said he got “a really good feeling that we can actually save this place.” He expressed his gratitude to the university, for allowing him to “help rescue the property.”
Purchasing the house was less about renovations and “more about restoration,” claimed Throop, who added he wants to “keep the character of the house and the period.” Throop expects to have twelve rooms available by the spring semester, and fifteen rooms in the fall after the additional three rooms in the attic are renovated. He plans to keep the house much the same as it was before, noting that the University has strict guidelines for their residences. This means the house will continue to have two bathrooms and a kitchen. Throop hopes to add another lounge area as well.
Throop hopes to make some changes that will keep it green and cut costs. Throop said he will add an “ultramodern foundation” known as “insulated concrete flooring” with the intent of eliminating heat loss.
This is the second time that Throop has moved a house. In August 2007, another former University residence, MacGregor House, was moved one block off-campus, and is currently being leased to off-campus students. At the time, MacGregor was sold for about $100,000 as part of a University scheme to lighten their carbon footprint and cut costs.
When asked about the fate of the remaining vacant satellite residences, Strain said the university had “no plans to make changes at this time.”