November 27, 2022

Get our local education coverage delivered directly to your inbox.
Residents of the Zoe Bayliss housing co-op have secured a new home at 636 Langdon St., above.
The Zoe Bayliss Women’s Cooperative has found a new home, rescuing one of the last student housing cooperatives in Wisconsin from impending demise.
The last co-op on campus is slated to be demolished after the 2022-23 school year.
After partnering with UW-Madison for almost 70 years, the cooperative will move just off campus next fall, to a home at 636 Langdon St.
The co-op’s current building at 915 W. Johnson St. is slated for demolition next year, making way for the university’s new $95 million Humanities building that’s scheduled to open in fall 2025.
The move to the Langdon Street property comes after months of searching and meeting with a handful of real estate companies, Zoe Bayliss Strategic Planning Officer Angela Maloney said.
“A lot of people, including myself at some points, didn’t even think it was possible for us to find a new house, considering the situation with affordable housing and how just, like, jam-packed everything is on the Isthmus,” she said. “(It) makes me really emotional to think about the people that we’ve impacted because we’ve been able to find a new building, and … we didn’t give up on our community, and we persevered and we cared.”
Housing co-ops such as Zoe Bayliss offer students cheaper rent in return for sharing kitchen and cleaning duties. Hired chefs cook two meals a day, which is included in the cost of rent.
This year, a double room at Zoe Bayliss costs each person $5,158, or about $570 a month for a nine-month lease. A single room costs between $6,400 and $7,500.
By comparison, yearly UW-Madison dorm prices start at $6,500 for rooms that house between three and six students, and the required dining plans start at $3,800.
With the move, Zoe Bayliss will be collaborating with the Madison Community Cooperative, or MCC, a nonprofit that has 11 homes in the city.
The Langdon Street property was built as a sorority house in 1928, and MCC had been renovating it with the intention of establishing another co-op there.
MCC approached Zoe Bayliss about partnering this summer, Maloney said.
MCC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The last of five housing cooperatives at UW-Madison, Zoe Bayliss has leased space from the university since the 1950s. Its building, along with Davis Residence Hall, has been marked for demolition for nearly a decade under the university’s master plan, which includes replacing the deteriorating Humanities building.
University Housing and Zoe Bayliss hit an impasse last year when the co-op rejected the university’s offer to renovate a space in Phillips Hall, 1950 Willow Drive. Co-op members said they were concerned the new facility would increase costs and reduce the co-op’s capacity.
The move off campus will sever the financial connection Zoe Bayliss had to UW-Madison through its lease agreement.
University Housing Director Jeff Novak said he wished the co-op well in the new location.
“Glad to hear they found something in the community,” he said. “We tried to work hard together with them to find something suitable here on campus and thought that we had a great option for them, but (it’s) very positive to hear that they are able to secure something.”
Novak added that UW-Madison is gauging student interest in establishing a new cooperative and is considering scholarships for a couple dozen lower-income students.
Zoe Bayliss President Sara Hartke said finding the co-op a new home has given her a sense of relief and lifted the burden she felt of possibly ending the co-op’s history.
“To some degree, I felt like it would fall on us as the current members of the co-op (as having) the shame of being the closing group of the house,” she said. “I feel like it was also a big moment of joy and celebration of people coming together and putting in the work to put together, you name it, whatever we needed, to find a new place.”
Disconnecting Zoe Bayliss from UW-Madison’s lease will allow the co-op more freedom to structure its leases.
Zoe Bayliss has only been able to offer nine-month leases that required residents to find summer housing in Madison through sublets or short-term leases, Maloney said.
At Langdon Street, they hope to offer full-year leases so that students can stay in one home, she said.
“Every summer I have to find someplace else to live, which is just always tedious to literally move your stuff,” she said. “The building is home, but it makes it feel less homey when for … almost four months of the year, you have to go and live someplace else.”
By disconnecting its leases from UW-Madison, Zoe Bayliss will also be able to open leases to any college student, including those at Edgewood College and Madison Area Technical College.
Zoe Bayliss leaders wanted to keep a prime location near campus, but they didn’t expect to find one.
Despite being in the right location, other options near Camp Randall and Langdon Street were ruled out because they needed extensive renovations, such as an industrial kitchen.
But MCC was already working on renovations to the Langdon Street house that fit the co-op style.
And while the house isn’t on campus, it’s about as close as it could get: It’s across the street from the Pyle Center and a few minutes’ walk to Lake Mendota and the Memorial Union.
“Honestly, I don’t think we really dreamed that we would find such an ideal location,” Hartke said.
Residents at the Zoe Bayliss Women’s Cooperative, a student housing co-op on the UW-Madison campus, chat after sharing a meal together. From left are: Melissa Schmidt-Landin, a third-year graduate student from Baldwin; Kyi Khaing, a junior from Myanmar; Bernadette Maurice, a junior from Oregon; Isha Srivastava, a freshman from Saudi Arabia; and Ishita Arora, a sophomore from Carver, Minn.
The UW-Madison-owned building that the Zoe Bayliss cooperative leases annually is slated for demolition in 2023.
“People feel a sense of ownership,” co-op president Angela Maloney said about the democratically-elected way in which the cooperative runs. 
A hallway to student’s rooms at Zoe Bayliss Co-op, a women’s student housing cooperative at UW, on West Johnson Street in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 2, 2022. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Angela Maloney, a junior from Madison and president of the Zoe Bayliss Women’s Cooperative, examines paintings on the wall left behind by former residents of the cooperative that began in 1955.
Molly Nortman, a first-year graduate student from Beaver Dam, cleans out the fridge in the dining and kitchen area at Zoe Bayliss. Co-op residents are responsible for one hour of kitchen duty per week.
“People feel a sense of ownership,” co-op president Angela Maloney said about the democratic way in which the cooperative runs. 
Angela Maloney, a junior from Madison and president of Zoe Bayliss Co-op, a women’s student housing cooperative at UW on West Johnson Street, shows off her room she shares with another resident in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 2, 2022. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Angela Maloney, a junior from Madison and president of Zoe Bayliss Co-op, a women’s student housing cooperative at UW on West Johnson Street, displays a bottle in her room in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 2, 2022. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
The Zoe Bayliss co-op has a commercial kitchen, which may be tough to keep if the cooperative moves to the floor or wing of a dorm.
The lounge area at Zoe Bayliss Co-op, a women’s student housing cooperative at UW, on West Johnson Street in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 2, 2022. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
The laundry room at Zoe Bayliss Co-op, a women’s student housing cooperative at UW, on West Johnson Street in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 2, 2022. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Get our local education coverage delivered directly to your inbox.
{{description}}
Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.

University of Wisconsin System officials are hoping to increase the percentage of students who apply for federal financial aid, as the state falls in the bottom third in participation nationwide.

Conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty claims the government has failed to explain why other ethnicities are ineligible for the minority retention grant.

Campuses seeing enrollment increases are UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, and UW-Superior. Enrollment at UW-La Crosse has remained even, and the remainder of the campuses have decreased, the estimates show.
Residents of the Zoe Bayliss housing co-op have secured a new home at 636 Langdon St., above.
Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

source

Leave a Reply