The common rooms in Mabee Hall and Nelson Hall were turned into dorms over the summer.
Bob Strader, the director of Residence Life Education and Housing, said the decision was made in late April when the staff learned the number of incoming freshmen.
“It appeared we wouldn’t have enough beds for all the students,” said Strader. He has been at ACU since 1976 and said the common rooms in Nelson and Mabee Halls were originally dorms. At a time when ACU was below capacity, several rooms on the second and third floors were combined and turned into common rooms. Strader says the goal was to make a space that created community on the halls.
This year, however, the freshman class is at capacity, so those common rooms had to be reverted to dorms. Strader said it did not require a lot of additional construction, and the ACU facilities staff was able to do the work without a contractor. This provided 20 additional beds in Mabee Hall and eight additional beds in Nelson Hall.
Strader said they did not put walls in the middle of the rooms in the hopes that they could one day be common rooms again.
One of the women living in the converted dorm in Nelson Hall is Brianna Louvier, a freshman math education major from Westpoint. Louvier and her roommate were not given the choice to live in the four-person dorm. When they arrived, they discovered they had a third potluck roommate.
“I thought, ‘I’m gonna hate this,’ but now I like it,” said Louvier.
The room has two sinks and a wardrobe, bed and desk for each student. The women got to keep the large-screen television that was part of the common room before.
Louvier said she and her roommates are being creative with what they call the “Quad Room.” They turned the fourth bed into a couch and used the wardrobes to divide the room into two separate spaces.
“We had a movie night and invited the whole hall,” said Louvier. She said she is getting along with her potluck roommate and enjoys having a friend during the times her other roommate is at band practice.
The “Quad Room” is continuing to build community, just as the common rooms were originally intended to do.