The nearly $50 Lego student housing project has been cancelled.
Originally expected to take three hours to complete, by last month, Whole Tub Development estimated that the project could take six additional months to finance.
“We tried everything,” said ten-year-old Ken Struct, CEO of Whole Tub Development. “I even asked my mom if I could dip into my birthday money.”
Looking to accelerate student housing further, the board of trustees approved a new bid to construct dorms out of Lego bricks after the United Group’s approval was tabled by the Rensselaer County legislature. The bid was $4.
“It was literally the smallest offer we could find just to say we actually started the student housing project,” said Brock Billder, college assistant attorney. “And, something went wrong.”
Whole Tub Development encountered unexpected delays over the last two weeks. Three of Ken’s staffers quit the project due to conflict with their little league baseball practice schedule and lack of interest.
On Mar. 20, Ken was grounded for planning to develop the project near the site of a historic cemetery. The temporary punishment made it increasingly difficult for him to meet with college leaders in person.
“He was really bold, and he’s much better than that,” said Jen Struct, mother of Ken Struct.
According to Jen, her husband, Jim Struct, did not hear about his offense until he came home from work later that day. He argued taking away Ken’s Xbox, but settled on lowering his birthday allowance instead. Ken’s birthday was three days later.
“I don’t care if he’s failing to finance a decade-old initiative from a public college; he needs to learn to be responsible for his decisions,” said Struct.
Jim claimed when he was growing up, his father was much harder on him than he is on Ken, and Ken is “fortunate enough.”
Lacking money to get the project underway, Ken requested a $10 payment in lieu of taxes to pay for development by the City of Troy. The PILOT was denied.
“We don’t want people requesting additional revenue for gender-neutral children’s toys,” said Lincoln Logs, local lobbyist director for Adults Against Weird Ideas, who threatened to keep the palm of his hand across his forehead for several hours in front of the Hedley Building if the project was given approval.
With the plan failing to take affect, Struct proposed lowering costs by using Duplo blocks for the project instead of bricks. After the change was approved, Whole Tub Development still failed to finance the project.
Reaching closer to the college’s 2017 deadline, the college has considered cheaper alternatives to student housing. Risks and advantages included in Mega Bloks or Tinker Toy dorm development will be discussed at the next meeting later this month.