Sloss house receives a facelift


Photo: Tim Reuter/Iowa State Daily

The Sloss House recently received some renovations.

Carmen Leng

The Margaret Sloss Women’s Center is the small house on Central Campus nestled between Gerdin Business Building and Curtis Hall. Although the Women’s Center may be overlooked by students rushing to class, it offers a number of resources to ISU students.

The house was constructed in 1883 and last renovated in 1996. The house certainly looked its age — the building sported once-orange carpet that had become lime green due to sun exposure and the water damage the building had, along with the ice, heating and cooling issues.

“What the space looked like before did not look like it valued women’s values,” said Penny Rice, director of the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center.

Bart Dobson, construction coordinator for the MSWC project, added, “The Sloss House was in need of renovations for the women to use the space like the wanted.”

It was time for renovations.

Sloss Center renovations began on May 10. The building received a new roof, gutters, furniture, TV, computers, carpet, changed out its radiators and received a fresh coat of paint.

In August 2007, the MSWC started highlighting what needed to be renovated in the Sloss Center and the house went through a maintenance assessment one year later.

The maintenance and improvement committee is responsible for determining maintenance, improvements and the amount of funding the department receives for the renovations.

MIC agreed to provide the Sloss House with $94,000 for the renovations it needed to have done. MIC then agreed to match whatever the Government of Student Body would offer the MSWC for renovation. GSB contributed $30,000. MIC matched the $30,000 and then provided an additional $17,000 for the new renovations.

With the funding, the Sloss House renovations became a reality. Rice; Chris Fowler, Sloss House assistant director; and Brandi Latterell, interior designer, decided what changes need to happen by going through sample ideas and recommendations.

The move-in date was pushed back and the staff moved in and out of the MSWC house four times throughout the process, due to rain entering the building while the roof was under construction.

Dobson and project coordinator Steve Rentschler, both agreed that the Sloss House has been one of the most difficult renovations on Iowa State’s campus due to the old structure of the house and the rain issues.

Rentschler went on to say, “When dealing with such an old structured house you’re going to have problems.”

The staff was finally able to move back in Oct. 28, and the doors to the Sloss House reopened Nov. 1.

“The Margaret Sloss Women’s Center has a lot of things that people do not know about,” said Ashley Schmuecker, senior in religious and women studies. “They offer lot resources for students and everyone is welcome.”

The Sloss House has a lot to provide to students, such as a new computer room, a newly remodeled kitchen, which is open for students to cook in throughout the day, and new furniture for studying and lounging.

“Clubs and organization are welcomed to use the space for any meeting or study group sessions,” Rice said.

Some students use the space to study.

“The Sloss House is a lot quieter than most places to study, and the furniture provides a good place for students to congregate,” said Ahna Kruzic, junior in sociology.