Fairfield University has completed and opened yet another construction project on campus. This one takes living on campus to a whole new level.
The Barnyard Manor townhouses, located on the south side of campus, opened up for the first inhabitants this fall. Both junior and senior students were able to choose to live in these beautiful houses, with grey and white paint colors, big windows with sleek black window panes, porticos and peak roofing.
The inside has even more benefits, with a spacious downstairs living area with hardwood floors attached to a full kitchen with brand new white marble countertops and dark wood cabinets. These townhouses hold eight students, each with their own single bedroom. They also include two full bathrooms and a laundry room with a washer and dryer, something students may be attracted to after having to share communal laundry rooms for the majority of their time at Fairfield.
The Barnyard Manor was a part of Fairfield University’s master plan, “Fairfield 2020, The Way Forward,” which launched in 2015 and included a number of construction projects of new facilities and student living over a five-year-period. Vice President for Student Life Karen Donoghue ‘03, had the chance to be a part of the conception stage of these new townhouses.
“During the conception stage, the Director of Residence Life and myself had the opportunity to meet with the architect to talk about best practices related to student living in addition to specific requests that we had based on feedback from students over the years,” Donoghue said via email.
Donoghue’s priority was to accommodate the students of Fairfield, and make sure that they could live comfortably and lavishly in these houses.
“The number one request we asked for was single bedrooms,” Donoghue said. “Some other ideas we shared were related to individual shower/toilet rooms and big fridges! With 8 students, we want to make sure we have the largest fridge possible.”
Donoghue thinks the Manor is an ideal place for juniors and seniors to live independently and is just another one of the many great options students have for on-campus living at Fairfield.
Senior Jaclyn Cuculino is a current resident at the Barnyard Manor and thinks it is quite a step up from her last living space of Meditz.
“You can tell Meditz was an apartment made for college students,” Cuculino said. “It’s just very standard, like, cheap cabinets. There’s actually not that much counter space…it’s not necessarily tailored to the amount of people that lived there.”
Cuculino knows living with eight people could be a nightmare for some, but she loves it and is happy this was an option for her senior living. Cuculino feels that the new townhouses were properly built for eight people to fit comfortably there.
“There’s a lot of counter space and a lot of cabinet space, and we always had kitchen issues in our six-person so it’s nice being able to fit everyone’s stuff,” Cuculino said.
Along with having enough space, Cuculino gets the feeling that she’s in an actual house when she walks in, not just a campus townhouse. She thinks the Manor is equipped for actual real-world residents to live there.
“When you walk into the Manor, it feels like a house,” Cuculino said. “I think [real-world] people could live there. Obviously it would look a little weird, but yeah.”
Cuculino also finds the location of the South Townhouses accommodating for her on-campus needs.
“While it may seem out of the way at first, it’s actually really centrally located compared to the other townhouses,” Cuculino said.
Although Cuculino had many positive things to say about her new South Townhouse, she has noticed that there have been some hardware problems in the house that she thinks is due to Fairfield rushing the construction.
“They had to build them so fast, so there are some construction issues,” Cuculino said. “We had a floor board that popped up, and our toilet paper holder fell out of the wall. We’re still waiting on work orders for stuff like that.”
Cuculino is hopeful that this is just an issue for these houses first guests, that future students won’t run into.
Another Fairfield senior, Sidney Sarfo, is also enjoying his new home-away-from-home at the Barnyard Manor so far. He sees a lot of improvements in this townhouse from his living quarters in Dolan Hall last year.
“The bathrooms are a lot nicer,” Sarfo said. “The bathrooms in Dolan were a little cramped, there were only two…this one is a lot bigger.”
The location of the South Townhouses is also a benefit for Sarfo as a biology major.
“It’s a lot closer to where the majority of my classes are,” Sarfo said. “Bannow is right there, and I’ve been at the library the past two days.”
However, the location of the Manor can be unfavorable to Sarfo as a manager of both the men’s club lacrosse team and the men’s club basketball teams.
“Both practices are held in Walsh Athletic Center, towards Rafferty, which is a far walk if you’re waking up at like 7 a.m., ‘cause they practice at 7:30 a.m., so that’s kind of tough,” Sarfo said.
Like Cuculino, Sarfo has noticed some technical difficulties with his townhouse. After the first couple weeks of school, the circuit breaker in his house started acting up.
“Sometimes some of the switches will trip and one of our rooms will lose power for a little bit, but it could be worse. All we gotta do is really call facilities and they’ll turn it on.”
Despite the small maintenance problems, the Barnyard Manor is off to a great start. This new edition to the Fairfield University campus has students excited about living on campus, even as a senior. With more facilities and benefits in an on-campus house than ever before, the Manor is looking like it will be a popular destination for future students.