Dordt College News

Dordt Awarded a Kresge Challenge Grant

March 23, 2001

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa; March 23, 2001–Dordt College has been awarded a challenge grant of $500,000 toward the completion of fund raising for the college’s new Student Life and Learning Center, which is being referred to as the Campus Center until the facility is completed and officially named. The challenge grant is awarded on a challenge basis to assist Dordt in raising the balance required to complete the project’s funding, including full realization of the goal of $7,750,000 in private gifts for the project. The grant is contingent on Dordt raising the remaining $2,666,000 needed to complete the project by May 1, 2002, the Campus Center’s scheduled completion date.

The Kresge Foundation considers grant applications toward projects involving construction or renovation of facilities and the purchase of major capital equipment or real estate. Grant recipients have to raise initial funds toward their respective projects before requesting Foundation assistance. Grants are then made on a challenge basis, requiring the raising of the remaining funds, thereby insuring the completion of the projects. In 2000, The Kresge Foundation reviewed 667 proposals and awarded grants totaling $133,525,000 to 213 charitable organizations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, England, and Africa.

Dordt College president Dr. Carl E. Zylstra says, “Dordt College is extremely grateful for the confidence that The Kresge Foundation has placed in Dordt and its future. This is a real vote of confidence in the role that the new Student Life and Learning Center/Campus Center will play in strengthening Dordt for even greater service in the years ahead.”

The 70-thousand square-foot facility will replace and expand facilities housed in the current student union building. Total cost of the project is approximately $13,850,000 with a $1 million endowment fund to be established for maintenance purposes.

“We are thankful for the generous and committed leadership of so many friends of the college that has brought us to this point,” says Lyle A. Gritters, Vice President for College Advancement, “Now we will be challenging a much broader group of alumni and friends of the college to raise the balance needed to meet The Kresge Foundation’s challenge grant.”

Dordt’s enrollment has grown by over 500 students since the current student union building was constructed in 1970. A lack of space for student activities and gatherings has made the library an alternate place for socializing. The center will restore the library’s function as a quiet place for research and study, and allow students ample room to socialize (providing lounge areas, bookstore, snack bar, and a game room) and have access to several offices and services that are currently scattered across the campus.

Currently under construction, the four-level Campus Center is one of the final buildings to be constructed from a campus development plan designed in 1990. It will be the hub of all student activities at Dordt and the main welcoming center for the entire campus.

The lower level of the center will house storage areas, the game room with a bowling alley, a lobby, darkrooms, and a mechanical room. Level one of the floor plan includes a coffee house, dining area, activity area, speaker platform, food preparation area, snack service area, lobby, mailroom, storage areas, a student project room, a gathering court, and the student services office complex.

On level two there will be offices for admissions, an activity area, lobby, information desk, bookstore, art gallery, meditation room, student lounge, and an entrance to the library. The top floor (level three) will house the college’s board room, the president’s office, the college registrar’s office, a classroom/conference room, an enhanced technology classroom, and the business administration faculty offices.

The new facility is intended to create a highly visible and attractive welcome center for prospective students and visitors, and be an active focal point of the learning community.

The Kresge Foundation is an independent, private foundation created by the personal gifts of Sebastian S. Kresge. It is not affiliated with any corporation or organization. Since its establishment, The Kresge Foundation has awarded nearly 7,485 grants totaling over $1.4 billion.

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