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Today’s question

Yesterday, during Grinnell’s annual 4th of July parade, a number of us noted that the van from one of the real estate companies in town had a picture of the John Chrystal Center [1], as well as the Grinnell College stone wall in front of the JCC [3], on its side. Today’s question is: Why? More precisely,

Why is there a picture of the JCC on a real estate van?

Fortunately, Dean Latham was a few people over from me. I assumed he’d have an answer. But Dean Latham was as puzzled as the rest of us.

Here are the answers I’ve proposed [4].

  • Grinnell has purchased a real-estate agency [5].
  • We’ve realized that the budget won’t cover the balloon payment on the Bear [6] and so we have to sell the JCC to make up the difference.
  • We’ve decided to raise funds by selling Grinnell’s identity to local merchants.
  • It’s part of a broader pattern of selling Grinnell property. We’re selling Ricker House through one real-estate agent and want to sell the Chrystal center through another one.
  • They are selling the JCC, but it will have to be moved, just like the language houses.
  • Cornell is selling a building and the real estate company got confused as to which school contracted with them.

I tried to convince Dean Latham that the funds we raised through such a venture could cover a number of additional faculty lines. He didn’t bite.

What’s your answer?

[1] Or Nord’s folly, as I like to call it [2].

[2] Actually, there are enough things I call Nord’s folly that I should probably number them. Let’s call the JCC Nord’s folly #23.

[3] In case you couldn’t tell, JCC’ is short forJohn Chrystal Center".

[4] Well, some other folks suggested at least one of of these answers.

[5] Or partial interest in a real-estate agency.

[6] Nord’s folly #27 [7].

[7] The folly is the bonds issued to purchase the Bear, not the Bear itself [8].

[8] Issuing bonds is not a folly. Grinnell’s Triple-Eh rating means that we generally pay less interest on our bonds than we make from our investments. Building something the cost of the Bear without fundraising a significant amount first is a bit of a folly, particularly since the assumption was that we could retroactively fundraise.

Version 1.0 of 2017-07-05.