Welch Hall will be used as overflow housing this year and is not expected to house any students for the first time in its history.
This decision was made because GU recently stopped using the Ruby River Hotel (formerly known as the Red Lion River Inn), located behind Dussualt, as overflow housing. Instead, GU’s Housing department was forced to use its own residential facilities to allow for over-enrollment.
According to Jon Wheeler, the director of Residence Life, the Admissions Office tells Housing and Residence Life what its admissions goal is each year. The Housing Department must account for the number of students to exceed the admission goals by as many as 150 additional students.
The latest goal set by admissions warranted an overflow residence hall larger than previous years, so a larger facility was needed.
“Welch was chosen largely because of its size and the number of beds needed,” Wheeler said. “It is also a building that is conducive to housing first year students and can, if needed, house both men and women. Its flexibility was important.”
Welch was constructed in the 1950s, making it one of GU’s oldest residence halls. Since its creation, this historical building has been home to many students. Some, like sophomore Abby Serbousek, are disappointed that Welch isn’t available for housing anymore.
“I think it’s really sad because it was honestly the best way to experience my freshman year,” Serbousek said. “It was the perfect central location, close to the COG and it was easy to get to class. It was also the perfect amount of quiet when you needed it to be.”
At this point, the size of the incoming class has not surpassed the Admission’s Office goal, so no students will be placed in Welch. Housing and Residence Life does not anticipate Welch to house any students throughout the 2019 - 2020 school year, although this could change depending on the number of sophomores who return from study abroad programs for spring semester.
While Welch is vacant this fall, there is a scheduled renovation for the top three floors which will result in new bedroom furniture for future students according to Senior Director of Housing and Residence Life Dennis Colestock.