By Roberta “Bobby” Flay
Devoted Discovery+ Watcher
For the next several months, a notable structure on the Washington College campus will undergo an extreme home makeover courtesy of Chip and Joanna Gaines in the next episode of HGTV’s hit series “Fixer Upper.”
According to sophomore Gabriella Bungalow, upon hearing that the production crew behind “Fixer Upper” was asking residents for recommendations for places to film additional episodes in the Chestertown area, she immediately threw the Publication House’s name into the renovation ring.
“I always said that, if I could, I would live at the Pub House full-time,” Bungalow said. “However —as a person who’s spent a lot of time there — it’s definitely not perfect.”
Bungalow said that, while the Pub House is indeed “an English major’s paradise,” that doesn’t mean that there’s no room for improvement.
“I would like to see them add a bedroom or two, and expand the living room,” Bungalow said. “It would also be nice to add a working fireplace, or at least a television with an ongoing, 24-hour, yule-log-style fire burning in the background — just to give it a more home-y feeling.”
According to the “Fixer Upper” page on the HGTV website, renovations are set to begin on April 1, and they will partner with surrounding Chestertown businesses for the project.
As an additional treat, the Gaines family will also have a temporary table set up at the weekly Chestertown Farmers’ Market selling several of their own products, including homegrown food from their farm in Waco, Tx. and new pieces of furniture and other home goods from Joanna Gaines’ Hearth & Hand brand.
However, as production season grows closer, several WC students, staff, and faculty members expressed mixed feelings concerning these changes.
According to freshman Cooper Townhouse, who lives on campus, they said that loud noises and consistent taping and re-taping could be “hindering.”
“I live in Minta Martin, and I’m worried that ongoing construction will be a distraction during online classes,” Townhouse said. “Besides, I don’t think my professors are going to believe me if I keep telling them I can’t hear them because Chip Gaines is up to his usual on-screen antics, like screaming at top of his lungs whil tarring a roof, which usually involves being incredibly loud. And I mean, ‘go, Chip,’ but also, ‘no, Chip,’ I have classes.”
Associate Professor of HGTV Binge Watching Dr. Victoria Tudor said that, while they support the project, they are very much against one of its core aspects: the show’s popularization of the farmhouse style home.
“Let’s face it, farmhouse style is out,” Dr. Tudor said. “I mean sure, it’s cute and all, but what makes the Pub House special is that it contains that special blend of a small-town library and Americana suburbia. In other words, anything but like a farmhouse.”
Despite these protests, Bungalow said she remains hopeful that once Chip and Joanna Gaines work their magic, the Publication House will be not just be a house, but a home.
“Elmers give so much of their time and energy producing the newspaper every week anyway, so why not give them a place that not only feels like home, but actually is and has become their home?” Bungalow said.
As of time of print, this special episode featuring the Publication House will premiere on the streaming platform, Discovery+. According to the “Fixer Upper” page, WC students, staff, and faculty will still have to pay the full subscription price to watch it.
Photo by Mal Capone
Featured Photo Caption: For April 1, Chip and Joanna Gaines of “Fixer Upper” fame will renovate and redecorate the Washington College Publication House.