Manley House co-op residents unveiled their renovated, repainted and now environmentally friendly digs to the public Friday afternoon.
The 16 residents of the co-op, located on the corner of Embarcadero del Norte and Cervantes Road, showcased the house’s new paint job, kitchen and solar panel system at the celebration Oct. 21. The event featured food served by the residents, live music played by the residents of the Marley House on Del Playa Drive and tours of the co-op, which has been in I.V. since 1984.
The 11-bedroom house is one of four co-ops in Isla Vista owned by Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative (SBSHC) – a group that collectively owns and manages affordable housing options for UCSB students, staff and faculty. Kara Nostrand, executive director for SBSHS said the co-op is the only SBSHC building equipped with solar technology but the other houses might soon be outfitted with solar panels too.
“None of the other co-op houses have a solar panel system, but with the attention that is coming from this project it is something that we would like to do in the future,” Nostrand said.
Nostrand said local solar panel distributor, Renewable Energy Concepts, paid for part of the new solar panel system and helped lower the cost of installation from $2 million to less than $20,000.
Brian Farhi works for the Fronius Solar Electronics Division, the company that manufactured the solar panels. He said the system includes a monitor to display the amount of energy that is brought into the house and used throughout the day, as well as the amount of pollutants the house would give off if it did not have solar panels.
Nostrand said co-op housing is 20 percent cheaper than the average price for accommodations in I.V. and provides students with comfortable and affordable accommodations.
“[The] co-op gives students a chance to be a part of something greater,” Nostrand said. “Students partake in beach clean-ups, Adopt-A-Block and they are also encouraged to create their own service project like building a pond or working at a voter registration booth.”
Lauren Harrington, a senior cultural anthropology major and Manley House resident, said she just moved into the co-op this year, but already feels at home with her roommates.
“What I like about living here is the diversity if people, it really has a family feel,” Harrington said. “There’s a variety of majors, and we just have a good mix.”