Sara Hofer — Staff Writer
With another semester underway, students have come back to campus to find several projects occurred over the summer months. From general landscaping updates to a new parking lot and the construction of the American State Bank Sports Complex, Dordt University is preparing for growth within its student population.
As the undergraduate population grows, housing concerns linger. Compared to years prior, the 601 building houses nine more students than it did before and on the other side of campus, the construction of eight new rooms in the basement of Covenant Hall created space for sixteen more students.
East Hall residents arrived to updated carpeting and repainted door frames. Dordt also took on smaller projects over the summer: landscape changes, 250 dorm mattresses replaced, and more beds added.
“We have the largest undergraduate class enrollment in history, so we knew we would be very tight on housing,” Howard Wilson said, Vice President for University Operations. “Currently, we estimate there is a 98 to 99 percent occupancy rate.”
With Dordt’s population growth, the construction of 327 new parking spaces includes another student necessity. This semester alone, students brought 250 more cars to campus, compared to the last academic year. Dordt currently works on further improvements to their parking plan.
“This is one of the busiest summers at Dordt for construction projects in about 10 years,” Wilson said.
North of Sioux Center near the Agricultural Stewardship Center is the $2.4 million construction of the mono-slope cattle building. This project was developed to give students the opportunity to work with beef cattle and dairy heifers. The building should be occupied by cattle by the end of the month.
Other construction projects include in the former KDCR radio building and in the B.J. Haan Auditorium. The KDCR building transformed into office spaces for football coaching staff and the B.J. Haan holds $200,000 worth of updates, after replacing the Casavant organ pipes.
The construction of the American State Bank Athletic Center is on schedule to be completed in December of 2022. Construction on the turf field begins this week.
Dordt already plans for more summer projects next year, like the new Dining Commons and Recital Hall, with the goal of completion by spring of 2025.
“We are one of the few institutions that is growing,” Wilson said. “We do our best to be responsive to what students need and would like to have.”