Do campus buildings stand upon firm foundations?

Meagan DeGraaf- Staff Writer

Graduates from years past may look at Dordt’s buildings and tell current students how lucky they are to have nice, fairly new places to live and learn. But how nice are these buildings in terms of safety?

Dordt has structural safety concerns on campus, one of which is Kuyper Apartments. While new and well-framed, the building does have some problems. Though the rumors that Kuyper is going to collapse from its sinking foundation are overdramatic, problems with the building “settling” is no joke.

Settling can be caused by various reasons–such as water leaking or freezing, an unsteady or poorly built foundation, or soil changes under the building. Since Iowa is famous for cold temperatures and the building is still relatively new, the freezing and re-freezing may play a role in the concern over Kuyper’s foundation. For the time being, however, Kuyper will remain standing and modern, as it is now.

East Campus Apartments also draw concern from many people, specifically those living in these apartments who experience these buildings. Originally, the apartments were built as temporary housing for a large influx of new students. When Dordt grew, however, the buildings stayed. Decades later, and the buildings are still standing but are in need of extra maintenance to keep them comparable to the other buildings.

Another building that generates worry is the balcony in the BJ Haan Auditorium. When the balcony is packed and people are moving around a lot—during the last concert hosted by Dordt College, for example—it shakes up and down with the movement of the crowds.

In this case of infrastructure, though it may seem unsafe, it is only when the building is at full capacity that the packed balcony becomes an issue. Even then, the BJ Haan is built in such a way that it should not collapse or break, and regular maintenance is preformed to ensure this.

Dordt’s Maintenance employees work hard and stay busy fixing things around campus, and most of the calls they receive deal with quirks and issues, such as broken sinks or lights. Maintenance personnel are unsung heroes in many dorms—they’re the people fixing your overflowing toilets and flickering lights, after all.

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