Dordt University is in the process of constructing a new set of apartment buildings, which are on schedule to be in use this upcoming fall semester.
The apartments, known as the “The Squares” or “Every Square Inch Apartments,” are located south of Southview Apartments near the new parking lot that overlooks the Dordt prairie. The apartments consist of four new buildings and will house a total of 96 students.
“Students have been asking for more natural light for years,” says Vice President for Student Life Robert Taylor. “We’ve added walls of glass in the Science Building and will do so in the new dining hall, but we also put massive windows in The Squares because they will bring in more natural light.”
Each apartment will feature upstairs and downstairs levels. There will be multiple bathrooms per apartment, and there will be laundry located in each apartment. Much of these updates came from student feedback, adds Taylor.
“I appreciate how the apartments will look aesthetically, and we have great partners who’ve helped us with that,” he says.
Dordt President Dr. Erik Hoekstra says Dordt now has 150 more undergraduate students living on campus than the institution did a decade ago. “We’re grateful to Vision Builders and our other contractors who are helping us complete these facilities so quickly—and I’m sure our students will enjoy the new spaces this fall.”
“Dordt has become nationally recognized for its high level of student engagement,” says Chief of Staff Rev. Aaron Baart. “One significant contribution to that reality is our increasingly unique requirement for students to live on campus all four years. Christianity is an embodied faith and in an increasingly isolated and individualistic world, we strive to create a community that fosters interdependence, not independence.”
Living in community nurtures the fruit of the Spirit or, what the broader culture would more readily call “soft skills,” adds Baart.
“Time and again, we hear from our alumni the deep friendships formed and the lessons learned from living in community on campus. So obviously, the more intentional the living spaces we can create for our students, the better,” says Baart.
How did Dordt decide on the apartment name? Students, faculty, and staff were invited to fill out a survey to share their name ideas; there were 345 names submitted.
“I love the name of the ‘Every Square Inch Apartments,’ harkening back to the quote by theologian Abraham Kuyper where, at the founding of a new university in 1880, where he said, ‘There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’” says Hoekstra.
Laura Grasman, who works as a payroll administrator at Dordt, submitted the winning name to the survey. She will receive a designated parking spot for the 2023-24 academic year as a prize. Grasman says she was surprised and very grateful when she learned that her apartment name idea had been selected.
“We have so many talented people who submitted ideas for the new apartments, and to be chosen was flattering,” she says. “Receiving a parking space for a year? That’s cause for skipping around the office!”
Grasman says that the new apartments will benefit Dordt greatly. “Living on campus provides community and inclusivity,” she says. “Dordt is well-known for student engagement. By building more apartments, we’re providing the opportunity for students to build stronger bonds on campus.”
About Dordt University
As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, the Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education, Forbes.com, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.