Converse will be converted to WE housing next year


Alex Verret, Staff Writer

Construction on Converse Hall has been underway since summer 2017.

Starting next fall, Wellness Environment residents will live in the hall after repairs on the building have been completed.

Converse will become additional housing for first-year Wellness Environment students with some spaces available for upperclassmen interested in WE, ResLife director Rafael Rodriguez stated in an Oct. 31 email.

Built in 1895, Converse has always been a residence hall.

It was built around the same time as Williams Hall and both were designed by the same architectural firm, Wilson Brothers of Philadelphia, according to a University history website.

The hall is currently undergoing masonry repairs, but the work required that students move out, said John Sama, director for the Living/Learning Center and residential communities.

When Converse was first built, the only thing standing between Converse and Williams Halls was a large expanse of field, the website states.

This external renovation is one of the first major repairs the building has undergone.

“Once the work is completed, Converse Hall will be used again as a residence hall in the fall of 2018,” said Enrique Corderra, executive director for the University Communications division of news and public affairs.

Using Converse for WE housing has been in the works for over a year, said Jeffrey Rettew, associate director of the Wellness Environment.

“WE was always going to be in Converse, but wasn’t able to be due to construction,” Rettew said.

The majority of first-year students in WE live in the Central Campus Residence Hall, but some currently live in Patterson Hall on Redstone campus, Rodriguez said.

Roughly 170 first-year students in WE currently live on Redstone. Many of them are in forced triples, Rettew said.

“I love the concept of WE but as it has expanded it has changed,” said sophomore and WE resident Victoria Le. “I thought Converse was going to be a part of the hospital.”

The addition of Converse would bring the entire first-year population of WE, currently hovering around 850 students, to Central Campus.

“I am pleased to see that Converse will not get decommissioned,” said junior and former WE resident Gus Slater-Dixon. “There are many fun quirks about living there that only Converse people will remember.”

The rest of the WE population of sophomores, juniors and seniors will be housed in the Christie-Wright-Patterson complex, Rettew said.

The hope is to bring all first-time, first-year students in the Wellness environment closer rather than split between the Central Campus Residence Hall and Patterson, Rodriguez stated.