Curious about the age of her college-owned off-campus house, senior Michele Boykin and her housemates, all of whom play for the women’s basketball team, did a Google search on their small house at 262 Union St.
“We found it was built in 1920, and we thought, ‘Wow, that’s cool; it’s almost 100 years old,’” Boykin said. “We were joking around that after we graduate, we would come back and throw a party for the house.”
That dream came to an end this summer, however, when Hillsdale College tore down the affectionately named Vacation Home to make room for a new residence hall. The dean’s office worked with the women expecting to live in the house this academic year to find a new space to live — and accommodate their teammates.
“It was the basketball house,” Boykin said. “We tried to keep it with the team so that it’s a place where we can all hang out. Our teammates were welcome at any time and would just show up all the time.”
The new dorm will sit across the street from the Roche Sports Complex next to Benzing Residence. The $3.2 million project will create 55 additional beds for upperclassman women to keep more students living on campus in anticipation of Galloway Residence renovations. The new building also will feature a coffee house and outdoor patio.
The dean’s office reached out to Boykin, senior Allie Dittmer, and junior Brittany Gray about the plans to tear down the Vacation Home in early summer. The deans offered housing accommodations at 311 Hillsdale St., which the college recently acquired, Associate Dean of Women Rebekah Dell said. Located across from the Pi Beta Phi house near McIntyre Residence, the white house has earned the name the Retirement Home from its new residents.
“It’s a working relationship to make sure we have the best housing available for our students,” said Dell, who added that maintenance helped move furniture and belongings from the old house into the new one. “We’re glad it was such a smooth transition.”
The new basketball house is more modern and is larger than the one on Union Street, which is helpful for when the entire team comes to visit, Boykin said.
The women said it was the time they spent with their teammates in the Vacation Home that made it special. Decorated with “Still on Vacation” signs, it was the team’s getaway when games kept them on campus during breaks.
Boykin said the house held many bonfires, team dinners, and movie nights, as well as a family-style Thanksgiving meal last year.
“Over Christmas break, we would just come together and have two couches, lay a futon on the floor, wrap up in blankets, and watch all these movies,” Gray said. “It was great.”
After keeping the Vacation Home within the basketball team for the past three years, the women said they are looking forward to creating new memories in the Retirement Home. They said they, however, do miss the proximity to the sports complex.
“We’re grateful to have the house, but what was especially nice was the location,” Boykin said. “We would have to wake up at 6:15 a.m. for morning lifts, and the sports complex was right there.”
Although the Vacation Home may no longer stand on campus, the women said they treasure those moments with their teammates.
“I had so many great memories there,” Gray said. “I’ll always remember the cute little house at 262 Union. It’s gone but not forgotten.”