Winder Street then and now: The Champlain residences

By Gordon Lambie

Other than a few finishing touches, there is not much of a difference between the present-day view of the Champlain College residences on Winder Street in Lennoxville and this older shot found in The Record’s archives. Although undated, the archive image likely dates to the late winter or spring of 1979, as the six residence buildings opened to students for the first time in the fall of that year.
Opened in April of 1971, Champlain Regional College’s Lennoxville campus housed students in residence space at Bishop’s University and, as of 1974, the former King’s Hall School in Compton prior to the construction of its own residence buildings on Winder Street. According to an article by Nelson Wyatt in March of 1980, the six buildings were built to house 300 of the college’s then 1,100 students at an estimated cost of $3 million (roughly $10 million, when factoring for inflation).
In the April 12, 1979 edition of The Record, Claudia Bowers reported that the “sewage disposal system” for the new development essentially amounted to a pipe into the Massawippi river. The article speculated that the sewage from the added apartments would continue to run into the river for one to six years depending on the progress of plans to build a new sewage treatment plant in the region, although it also quoted local residents and officials as being certain that the current in the Massawippi would be strong enough to handle the additional load.
Upon opening, the residences filled up so quickly that the aforementioned article by Wyatt focuses on a petition from the college for the construction of two additional buildings. Campus Director William Matson is referred to as saying that he doubted the request would be approved by the end of the fall, and the continued existence of only six buildings at the site 40 years later implies that it was never successful at all.

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