Classroom building overhaul

Maxima van der Voot-Staff Writer

Buildings and Campus, 2014, science building

The finished product of the science building

As the Dordt College Science and Technology Center enters its completion stage, the humanities and social science departments have announced their plan to renovate the Ribbens Academic Complex within the next six years.

“We’ve watched the Science Building get steadily bigger and fancier over the past four or five years, and we decided that we’ve had enough,” said communications professor Bruce Kuiper.


Classroom building, home to the humanities.

“We’re quite bitter about it all. We decided it was time for the humanities to get some special treatment too.”

Usually, college building renovations are reviewed by the administration and the Board of Trustees before receiving approval. In this instance, the humanities and social sciences took the initiative and hired an independent contractor to oversee the project. Funding for this project will be raised by faculty and students in the participating departments.

The planned renovations include the addition of a third story, two skywalks and a 15-foot spire.


Another story will be aded to the building with spirals added on top of the glass rooms.

“In the end, the Classroom Building will be exactly 30 feet taller than the Science Building and the total project will cost five percent more,” said philosophy professor Mark Tazelaar.

“The administration indicated that the next planned building remodel would target residence halls,” Kuiper said. “That makes sense, based on current enrollment and the state of East Campus, but we really couldn’t wait to get started on our improvements. So, we made a GoFundMe page.”

When the Classroom Building was renovated in 2009, it was equipped with new furniture, projectors, computer labs, a black box theatre and art facilities. These new renovations, however, will add a coffee shop and a screened porch to the building. In addition, one of the skywalks will connect the Classroom Building with West Hall and the other will stretch between the Classroom Building and the Commons.



The lobby in the science building

“The funds will be tricky,” Tazelaar said. “Especially because our donor pool is primarily made up of people who graduated from Dordt with a degree in the humanities or social sciences, but I’m sure it’ll work out in the end.”

“Frankly, I’m not sure the planned improvements are worth the hassle of construction,” said junior social work major Franklin De Aardappel. “I’m a little jealous of all the attention STEM majors are getting, too, but I am not jealous of the racket of construction. Plus, I won’t even get to use the new facilities.”

If you are interested in supporting the renovation project, visit

Editor’s Note: All Zircon articles are the Dordt Diamond’s semi-annual homage to the time-honored, First Amendment-protected, great American tradition of satire. The literal truths of these articles are not to be taken at face value, but we hope the hidden truths allude to the absurdities of some of the realities we face in society today.

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