Campus News

Wilder Basement to have All-Gender Bathroom

June 1, 2015

Kathleen Thornton

Photo credit: Janine Bentivegna

Construction will begin in the basement of Wilder Hall this summer for the addition of a single-occupancy, all-gender bathroom that is accessible according to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. Wilder Hall has had all-gender bathrooms on the second, third, and fourth floors for more than a decade, but over the last few years, the students, faculty, and staff of the Student Union Board have expressed a need for such a bathroom in the basement.

Tina Zwegat, building representative for Wilder Hall and director of student activities, notes that one of the main reasons for constructing this bathroom is to enable students attending the ’Sco to access a suitable bathroom. Even when events occur in the ’Sco, Zwegat says, “we lock the stairwells to the rest of the building at midnight, so if someone needed a gender-neutral bathroom they couldn’t get one.”

Because Wilder houses such services as DeCafé and the Rathskeller, which are available to more than just the college community, it topped the list of buildings that the college is planning to update, says college architect Steve Varelmann.

Wilder Hall, constructed of sandstone in 1911 during Oberlin’s “stone age,” has undergone several voluntary improvements recently. The past two years have seen the addition of a new, more accessible elevator, as well as the reconstruction of the entrance ramps. The construction of an all-gender bathroom is the most recent addition. “This provides a good level of accessibility for the general public,” says Varelmann.

Both multiple-occupancy, gendered bathrooms will also undergo renovations that entail improvements in appliances, design, and wheelchair accessibility, resulting in more accessibility to and better design of three bathrooms in Wilder’s basement. “Even though we’re not required by law to do it, we will,” Zwegat says. “We’re really excited about it.”

You may also like…

This Week in Photos: The Big Send-Off

March 26, 2021

United States Postal Service bins line the floor and are stacked on mobile shelves in the Office of Admissions. This annual display serves as inspiration for this week’s photo series.
Plastic bins are in piles on the  floor.

This Week in Photos: Spring Semester Campus Life

March 12, 2021

The exterior wall of the Allen Memorial Art Museum is punctuated by a student holding a newly acquired piece of art from the recent Art Rental program. This image leads off this week’s photo series.
A student walks in front of a large stone building.

This Week in Photos: Nightscapes

January 14, 2021

The moon rests on a backdrop of perfect blue over the courtyard outside of Asia House. This picture served as inspiration for this week’s nightscapes photo series.
A full moon in a dark sky next to the silhouette of a building.