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     In the fall of 1975, due to oversubscription, St. Bonaventure found itself with 112 extra students in need of housing. After weighing several options, including the renovation of 5th Devereux, the Bonaventure administration ultimately decided to remedy the situation by purchasing 7 mobile home units. These buildings, nicknamed Bonaville, were placed behind the grotto, adjacent to Plassmann Hall.

     The Bonaville trailers were set up like row houses. Each building held 4 dorm-style rooms, each of which had its own bathroom. The rooms housed 2 students each, and they were furnished with solid wood furniture as well as shag carpeting and cherry paneling. Altogether, the placement of the Bonaville trailers cost St. Bonaventure $100,000.

     Bonaville was initially very popular amongst its residents. Students living in Bonaville appreciated the quiet atmosphere that come from living further away from the rest of the dorms, as well as the fact that each dorm had its own bathroom. The students did not care for the fact that they felt more isolated from the other residents of St. Bonaventure, but they recommended Bonaville to upperclassmen who desired an alternative to living in a traditional dorm.

     However, as Bonaville aged, problems associated with its upkeep mounted. Due to the fact that they were not constructed of sturdy masonry like the other dorms, Bonaville was easily damaged by its residents, costing the university thousands of dollars in repairs. In addition to repairing damage caused by students, the university also had to contend with repairing frozen pipes and exterminating a rat infestation in the trailers. Bonaventure was also heavily burdened by the cost of utilities associated with supplying heat, hot water, and electricity to Bonaville, which were about $65,000 a year. The recent construction of the Garden Apartments also decreased the actual need for Bonaville. In the fall of 1982, proposals were made to phase out Bonaville, citing the cost of utilities and the decay of the buildings' structures. In 1983, Bonaville was eliminated from Bonaventure's campus.

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Page created by Ellen Winger, Spring 2010.
Last update: 07 Sep 2010