Dordt’s building plan for new commons dining and recital hall

Yee Lim Shin — Staff Writer

Dordt University is constructing a building plan which consists of a new Dining Commons area and a recital hall. The new Dining Commons area will be located between the BJ Haan Auditorium and the Campus Center to connect the two buildings together.

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The area will be approximately 36,000 square feet and have two floors. The first floor will consist of a dining area for around 400 people, including an open service area.

“There will be a much more open service area where people will be able to see much of their food being prepared in front of them,” said Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Howard Wilson. This would benefit students who have allergies because they can see the food prepared.

There will also be multiple stations within the dining area that can prepare fresh or hot food ranging from a breakfast station, action station, homestyle comfort foods, to a pizza and grill station.

The second floor will have a private dining room that can be used by the community.

“It’ll have a good-sized private dining room in it, that people in Sioux Center would be welcome to use, you know, for banquets and special events, as well as the special events that we might host on campus,” Wilson said. The dining room will be able to fit around 200 people.

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The cost of the Dining Hall project itself will be around $18 million. Dordt plans to pay that cost through fundraising and applying for a loan from the US Department of Agriculture Community Development Fund.


“The US Government Department of Agriculture lends money to build facilities in rural communities,” Wilson said.

The goal is to submit the application for the loan by March.  After approval for the loan and completing the fundraising process, construction will take approximately 16 months.

Dordt’s building plan also consists of building a recital hall for smaller-scaled music events that do not need to use the whole BJ Haan for their event. The placing of the recital hall is yet to be determined.

Some other projects that are being considered are creating more parking spaces and adding air conditioning units in North Hall, East Hall, and the DeWitt gymnasium.

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