Provost Eric Forseth talks changes in Dordt’s future

Janelle Cammenga- Staff Writer

Conventional four-year students. The dorms. The nursing faculty building. The grass behind the BJ Haan. Take a picture now, because changes are coming for Dordt and its campus.

Provost Eric Forseth revealed in a recent press conference that Dordt’s master plan involves building projects to benefit Pro-Tech students, expand housing and contribute to the arts and the humanities.

Forseth, who spoke on Oct. 25, said that Dordt administration plans to build an additional dormitory to make room for the predicted influx of Pro-Tech students.

“We’re at 96% [full] housing right now, and that’s a little bit concerning,” Forseth said. “If you have roommate challenges or something like that, it just doesn’t work out very well.”

Forseth anticipates a year of housing that is more constricted than they want, but hopes the new dormitory will solve the problem for following years.

When a student voiced concern over whether Pro-Tech students would grow as much spiritually and relationally as the four-year students, Forseth explained that Pro-Tech students would take Core 100 and Core 150 with the four-year students. For their humanities core classes, Pro-Tech students would take more specialized 6-week classes instead of the normal core program.

The dorms are not the only aspect of Dordt that will look different in the next few years.

Dordt has approved several architects to go into a “pageant.” This means these architects will design a new science building—along with other structures—to serve as the Pro-Tech program’s home base, and the administration will choose which design they like best. Another use for these building projects is to bring the nursing offices closer to the rest of the faculty.

Dordt’s administrating of these shift in offices will help connect the nursing faculty to the rest of campus. But not everyone is convinced that this change will be a benefit.

“It’s kind of nice having a building of our own,” said sophomore nursing student Jo-Anna Aalbers. “The couches are comfy, the coffee’s good and we have fobs so we can get in there whenever we want. I think we’d lose the sense of nursing community if we moved it to another building.”

Dordt’s construction master plan does not end with science facilities. There are plans to include the humanities in the master plan by building a small theatre behind the BJ Haan auditorium. The plans are not finalized, but the concept drawing that Forseth reported seeing includes an outdoor amphitheater in the grassy area.

“You can see the natural bowl that it would happen in,” said Forseth.

But is an amphitheater the best monetary choice for Dordt? Maybe not.

Sophomore Bethany Van Eps, who is involved with the Theatre department, feels that weather is an obstacle that should not be ignored.

“[The amphitheater] would get the most use in the summer, when school isn’t in session,” said Van Eps. “If the school had that kind of money, I could see it being better used to complete the underground parking project…or building an on-campus theatre near the Theatre department.”

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