Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Real Estate: Spelman

Room draw as a freshman is a relatively easy process. You’re limited to your residential college, whose buildings you’ve come to love (or hate) over the past year. At most you have ten buildings to choose among. However, once you enter sophomore and junior room draw, a vast array of housing choices open up. There are 17 buildings available in upperclass draw in addition to rooms in Mathey, Wilson and Whitman. To assist you in the room draw process, the Prox staff will provide reviews of the 17 non-residential college buildings.

Spelman Hall, the building so great it was built eight times. Designed by I. M. Pei, who is perhaps better known for the glass pyramid at the Louvre, the dorm was constructed in 1973 of prefabricated concrete. The building project was initiated because of the need for increased housing after the movement to coeducation in 1969. Spelman Hall was honored by the American Institute of Architects as a ``distinguished accomplishment in architecture'' in 1977.

Spelman is mostly quads, with a few doubles, all of which have private bathrooms. Each room also comes with a kitchen and dining area, which makes them attractive to independent students. You do not have to be an independent to live in Spelman, however independent draw times are earlier than regular upperclass draw times, which gives independent students preference. Last year Spelman 8 was added to Whitman College and earlier in the year Spelman 7 was slated to join it, but student protest halted the move and led to Spelman 8 transfer back to independent housing.

Current Spelman students Karen Petsche '10 and R.W. Enoch '09 both liked the suite set-up. "It strikes a great balence of having the privacy of your own bedroom and having the camraderie and community of ... roomates," said Enoch.

Brad Kern '10 enjoyed the space, but noted that the dorms are "getting a bit old...It needs to be fixed up, like new carpet."