New women's dormitory welcomes students for fall semester

New paint, new furniture and new bathrooms are a dream for nearly any student that lives in a university dormitory. For forty-plus young women at Wayland Baptist University, that dream is now a reality.

Wayland welcomed its first residents to the new women's dormitory for junior and senior women this week. A $1.1 million facility in a suite format, the dorm is located on the north side of the campus at Ninth and Smythe Streets.

The new facility features 48 rooms for residents. Each suite has two private rooms - each with their own private full bathroom - adjoined by a small living area with sofas, end tables and closets. The sofas also fold out to make a bed for any overnight guests.

The individual rooms have a high bed with dresser-type storage underneath and room for more storage. The beds can also be lowered closer to the ground. Each student also has a desk and their personal closet.

Like any other Wayland residence hall, the dorm features a residence hall supervisor with an on-site suite and several resident assistants who are students. Marge Nelson, a retiree from Sudan, has the helm as RHS, a new venture for the mother of four and grandmother of four.

"I thought about when my children went to college, and how they just seemed to struggle that first year," Nelson said. "I love the association with young people and wanted to help out."

Nelson said she began contacting area universities who might need dorm parents and Wayland responded positively. With a new dorm opening in the fall, the need was apparent.

"I'm just blessed to be here," Nelson said. "If I am able to help these young ladies in any way, I'll be happy."

Construction on the new dormitory began in the spring after campus housing reached 97 percent capacity last year. The dorm will be almost full when the new school year begins Wednesday. The dorm is yet to be named.