Property for the future

Justin Banks-Contributing Writer

With word of an expected enrollment increase for the upcoming fall semester, many students are beginning to realize just how much this change will impact them.

For instance, the upperclassmen apartments will likely be filled to maximum capacity this fall.

Junior Alex Vasquez currently has two roommates in his East Campus apartment. He said based on the enrollment increase, he believes additional roommates will invade his privacy and hamper with the comfortable living arrangements he has come to enjoy.

The question on many students’ minds is what Dordt will do about this inevitable overcrowding that is only months away.

Dordt has recently purchased two houses – the Houtkooper house and the Mouw house – both   located on 4th Avenue.

The Houtkooper house is a 110-year-old home that was originally referred to as the Te Paske house, receiving its original name for its late owner, Mr. Te Paske. Te Paske was one of the first mayors of Sioux Center and regarded as a prominent attorney of his time.

For many years the Te Paske house was recognized as the nicest home in Sioux Center. The home is a big white house located on the southwest corner of campus close to President Hoekstra’s house.

The name of the home was changed after being purchased by Virgel and Dittie Houtkooper. This five-bedroom, three-bathroom home most recently served as a bed and breakfast, operated by the Houtkoopers.

According to Dordt’s Chief Administrative Officer Howard Wilson, a home like this only goes up for sale every 20 to 30 years. Wilson made it clear this was a great purchase for the future of Dordt College.

The hope is for the house to serve as housing for single graduate assistants.

The Houtkooper house is in need of a newly renovated bathroom, along with improvements concerning both the Wi-Fi and the electricity.

The second house that Dordt purchased is a 50-year-old, three-bedroom house bought from Vern Mouw, who was a local businessman.

The most valuable aspect of this home is the four-and-a-half acres of land that come with the house.

Plans for the use of the Mouw house have yet to be determined, but at this point, the land will be used either to build more academic buildings or to provide more parking.

Wilson made it clear the purchase of these properties is not part of Dordt’s “global plan to take over Sioux Center.”

Only timing will tell us that perhaps the purchase of these properties coincides with the housing problems that await the upperclassman in the coming year. The question now is how soon will Dordt act on the current housing crisis and how long will students be subjected to the compact living conditions? Could it be that Dordt is actually planning on tearing down the Mouw house and using the land for apartments?

The properties are still technically under contract to purchase. Dordt is predicted to take legal ownership of the houses in the early spring.

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