Dordt announces new long-term construction projects

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Watch out Dordt College. Construction is going to wreak havoc on campus yet again.
There are currently two different construction projects taking place on campus. One project is the expansion and renovation of the Science Building. The other project is the switch between the alumni house and the president’s house, which will also result in the expansion of the alumni house.

The expansion of the Science Building has been a priority for nine years. The master plan was written up in 2004, and the committee has been actively planning the expansion for 24 months. Arlan Nederhoff, Vice President for Business Affairs, is part of this team who has been making these plans. The other members of the team include Ethan Brue, Jim Bos, Stan Oordt, and Tony Jelsma.

Although Nederhoff couldn’t give a specific number for how much this expansion and construction will cost, he estimated that the entire project will cost around 20-22 million dollars. Dordt students don’t have to worry about this money coming from their tuition because the money for the project is all coming from donors. At the end of December, donors had already graciously given over 7 million dollars. The Advancement Office has volunteered to raise the rest of the money ($3 million) to start the first phase of the project.

The Science Building project is divided into 3 different phases. The first phase costs around 11 million dollars, and it includes connecting the Classroom Building with the Science Building. This will include taking down the greenhouse on the south side of the Science Building and building an engineering lab building in its place.

The 2nd phase and 3rd phase are a conjoined effort, coming to around 11 million dollars as well. These phases will work on renovating the existing science building. This will include remodeling the existing chemistry and biology labs, as well as agriculture and physics laboratories.

The 3rd phase will also include, cost willing, a skywalk to connect the Science Building to the Campus Center to create a fully integrated academic complex. A field project laboratory plus a new astronomy observatory location will be created as well.

The start date for Phase 2 and 3 depends on how fast the Advancement Office can raise the 11 million dollars. The committee is still working on reconfiguring designs and decisions for the last 2 phases.

Nederhoff is hoping that Phase 1 receives the green light from the board, so that they can start the project. “This is an exciting project, and it just feels time to start it now,” Nederhoff said. He also pointed out that although campus will be somewhat inconvenient for students and faculty next year, he is confident that they will soon see the advantages of the project.

The other construction project taking place on Dordt’s campus is the switch between the alumni house and the president’s house. Alisa Den Hartog, Alumni and Parent Relations Coordinator, said that the reason behind the swap is to improve both of the houses. “Our alumni house is becoming popular, so it gave us the opportunity to expand it and to provide more bedrooms and bathrooms; the need was increasing, and we had an opportunity to meet that need,” Den Hartog said.

The new alumni house will feature five bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. There will be a kitchen, living, and dining room space that will be considered shared space with all the guests staying in the house. The old alumni house featured 3 bedrooms, 1 on the main floor and 2 upstairs. The main floor bedroom had its own bathroom, but the two upstairs bedrooms had a shared bathroom.

The construction on the alumni house began back in November, and the completion date will be March 15th. It will begin accommodating guests on April 1st.

Amber Vis, Staff Writer

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