Evangeline Colarossi—Staff Writer
Manufacturing and Engineering students returned from Christmas break to a surprise addition in the high bay of the science building. Construction workers closed an opening to form a classroom that serves as the new Manufacturing Technology Lab.
The lab holds 24 students where they can have hands-on experience with instrumentation workstations. These stations are fitted with computers, gauges, and pumps. Two ground-floor rooms were repurposed, and equipment was added to instruct students on control systems.
In less than a week, the silence that students have grown used to will disappear. The New World Theatre and Scene Shop start demolition on February 17th. The floors and electrical wiring have been removed from the now gutted New World Theatre.
Dordt’s original gymnasium and chapel were housed in the New World Theatre and the Scene Shop once served as the commons. The areas will be reconstructed again to make room for the Nursing addition.
The new theatre building is now completely closed in and heated. Some props have already been moved to the new building, but a majority of the moving will take place over spring and summer break.
“We were hoping for [the new building] to be finished over spring break, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen,” said Jalyn Vander Wal, a senior Theatre Arts major. “Hopefully, over the summer some people can stay and help move in.”
The last piece the Theater Department will put on this semester is Northanger Abbey, which will be held in Te Paske Theatre. Shortly after graduation, the new Theatre building will be completely finished with an end date of May 15th, 2019.
Most projects are far from completion, but the Agricultural Stewardship Building north of town has been completely finished. The Pro-Tech and Agriculture majors put the classrooms to use at the beginning of the spring semester.
Since the grand opening, the Ag Stewardship Building has hosted about a dozen events. This includes two open houses, meetings for FFA, the Sioux County Fair Board, sixty John Deere dealers, Beef Quality Assurance, and the Agriculture Club banquet.
For now, on-campus construction has been out of students’ pathways, other than occasionally blocked sidewalks. This will not always be the case once the interior of the Nursing building is started.
“To the best of our ability, we will keep the path of travel open between the Science Building and the Classroom Building,” said Howard Wilson. “There may be times when that is disrupted, but we are hoping that can happen during spring break.”
Skateboarders have enjoyed using the sidewalk protection as ramps, but interior construction can pose more hazards and slow down students’ route to and from class. Dordt students are asked to be aware of the machinery and workers around them, maintaining their own safety.