This project involves the historic rehabilitation of Columbia Hall and Wood Hall located on the Stephens College South Campus in Columbia, Missouri. Both of these buildings formerly were utilized as residence halls for coeds enrolled in Stephens College. With completion of the renovation work, they now provide housing for 153 students (78 students in Columbia Hall and 75 in Wood Hall), and are available for students of all three universities in that city.
Columbia Hall, a four and one-half story brick building located along the western boundary of the South Campus, was constructed in 1919, expanded in 1937, and is the largest building in the South Campus. It was vacant for a number of years. With our historic rehabilitation process completed in time for the Spring semester 2008, the renovated Columbia Hall provides 23 two-bedroom / one-bath semi-suites housing 46 students, and 8 four-bedroom / two-bath semi-suites housing 32 additional students. Each apartment has its own living room with a small kitchenette. In addition to the suites, the first floor provides a "gathering" area immediately adjacent to the main door, the first, second, and third floors each have a laundry facility, plus the basement includes a fitness room, a multipurpose room, management and housekeeping rooms, and a storage area.
Wood Hall, also a four and one-half story brick building, located along the eastern boundary of the South Campus, was constructed in 1918 (the year before Columbia Hall), and expanded in 1941. Its use as a student dormitory was substantially reduced for several years, but with our historic rehabilitation completed for Autumn 2007, Wood Hall swang back into full utilization, but with a somewhat different configuration than Columbia Hall. In lieu of each apartment having its own living room (in Columbia Hall), each floor in Wood Hall has 2 large lounges with one lounge on the second floor also having a kitchen facility to accommodate family gatherings and other celebrations. The first, third, and fourth floors each have a laundry room. Wood Hall provides 9 one-bedroom / one-bath units housing 9 students, plus 33 two-bedroom / one-bath units housing 66 additional students.
Columbia Hall and Wood Hall are included as contributing properties in the Stephens College South Campus Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The South Campus was the former estate of Oliver Parker and was purchased by the College in 1857. This land is the original Stephens College campus. The Historic District also contains three other contributing buildings, one of which is vacant.
Although located in downtown Columbia, Missouri on the
campus of Stephens College, this project makes the apartment occupancy for both buildings open to students enrolled in any
institution of higher learning. The University of Missouri with an enrollment in excess of 27,000 is located
just to the southwest of Stephens College.
The need for additional student housing in Columbia is growing for all three institutions, but the need for Stephens College is specifically dramatic. Although Stephens College went through a period of declining enrollment a decade ago, like many of the private colleges the school reversed the trend when it turned to Dr. Wendy Libby as its new President. Dr. Libby had a significant impact upon the College and her positive attitude created the need for additional housing opportunities for the students of Stephens College. That growing demand has benefitted our project, and our project is filling a need for the community.