Dordt’s destruction before construction

Evangeline Colarossi—Staff Writer

Over the past month, Dordt’s logo has not been the only thing to change, as new additions are in the works.

A building rises just south of campus while a pit continues to be dug in front of the science building. It is no longer a surprise to have class interrupted by the banging sounds a construction site produces, and students have grown accustomed to the temporarily rerouted sidewalks.

The construction of what will be a new theatre building and eventually a pro-tech department began on Oct. 1, but did not affect many students, as it lies behind the engineering department.

On Oct. 29, life was disrupted a bit more when construction in the front of the science building began. Students received an email from Dordt’s Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Howard Wilson, warning them to beware when walking or boarding to classes as many sidewalks would soon be torn apart during construction.

The Gloria Zylstra Nursing Center is an 11,500 square foot addition and renovation to the science building. This department will be the main education facility for nursing majors. It will include seven hospital beds and have a hospital-like set up so students can interact in a working scenario. Several simulators will also be integrated into classes. These simulators can display a large variety of symptoms and health problems so the students can study them when identifying how to handle the situation.

“With a simulator, you can give a heart attack every five minutes and you can give different types of heart attacks,” said Howard Wilson. “This shows to be more proficient for teaching students,” as they can be shown a larger variety of scenarios they might encounter, rather than having to wait on a patient with various symptoms or health issues. By July 2019, the building should be completed and ready for use.

What is currently the New World Theatre and Scene Shop will be moved to the building south of the engineering department. A 60-seat classroom will replace the Theatre Arts offices. Another addition will be a movie theatre that seats approximately 30, allowing the digital media students to screen their projects and other classes to more comfortably view films.

The building is scheduled to be occupied during the spring semester of 2019. Sophomore Zach Sanford, who works in the Scene Shop, knows the theatre department plans to move everything over spring break but is not sure what the process will look like.

“I’m super excited for it and don’t know what to expect really,” Sanford said.

The buildings may seem permanent, but arrangement of the departments in them are not there to stay. The theatre department will move south of the engineering department in the spring, but in the next five years will likely have a new space of its own in a Performing Arts Center. The pro-tech department will then occupy its previous space.

In the meantime, the pro-tech and agriculture departments have just received a new building of their own. The Agriculture Stewardship Center covers 25,150 square feet and sits several miles north of Sioux Center and the Dordt farm. The construction for this building started in October of 2017 and ended last month. A very wet spring and summer delayed the construction, but the building is officially open, and classes will begin to use it in the spring semester.

If you are worried your tuition is going to pay for a building you may never enter, there is no need to be concerned.

“We fundraise for the complete cost of the projects so that students are not affected,” Howard Wilson said.

Another positive for students is the addition of 35 new parking spots east of the new theatre building.

Other small additions to the engineering department will take place over Christmas break. In the next 10 years, Dordt hopes to also add about 60 million dollars’ worth of additions to campus. This would include a new dining commons, renovations on the B.J. Haan, lockers at the soccer field, a residence hall and—hopefully—even more parking spaces.


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