From Church to Fraternity
This job was actually easier than his own project, Hobbs says. "Our building was about ready to fall down, it was in such poor repair. The frat is in much better condition because it was used until the sale." Both conversions kept much of the original detailing, such as decorative grills and trusses, while adapting the interior to new uses--offices in the case of Hobbs and Black and bedrooms for the fraternity.
Project architect Steve Dykstra found space to tuck in forty-four bedrooms: in the 1968 education wing, behind the former sanctuary where the baptismal font once stood, in the space above and below the lounge, and in the basement. The original office off the sanctuary will be a resident manager's apartment. The sanctuary itself became a library and a lounge that will be used for chapter meetings and special events. Fraternity parties will be relegated to the basement dining hall.
Fuller and Karunas both admit to missing the old church but are realistic about the need to move. "We are happy that it is not torn down, but restored," says Karunas.
[Originally published in October, 2012.]