NWC makes improvements to campus

A transformed Ramaker Center is among the improvements to Northwestern College’s campus that took place over the summer.

After the library moved from Ramaker to the college’s new DeWitt Learning Commons a year ago, Ramaker was gutted and completely redesigned to house a variety of offices that serve students, including campus ministry, career development, global education, and student life. Highly visible and easily accessible staff offices around the perimeter of the building surround comfortable spaces for studying and socializing.

A new north entrance, directly across from the DeWitt Learning Commons, enables Ramaker Center to function as a warm corridor for student traffic from services on the south side of campus—like the cafeteria and athletic facilities—to the classrooms, library and chapel in central campus. Dedication of the Ramaker Center will take place Saturday, Sept. 27, at 5 p.m.

As staff members moved into the Ramaker Center, spaces they vacated were repurposed to enable academic departments to expand and house departments that had been in campus cottages. Former student life facilities in the Rowenhorst Student Center were remodeled into a human performance laboratory and faculty offices for the growing kinesiology department, which recently added a program in strength and conditioning.

The former Franken Center, which has been renamed Kepp Hall, now houses the academic departments of English and foreign languages as well as the college’s public relations staff. Cottages occupied by those departments are being sold and removed from campus, most notably from the block north of Christ Chapel, which will improve further the aesthetics of Northwestern’s grand boulevard entrance.

West Hall, a dormitory, was razed, and grain elevators and other structures on property recently acquired by Northwestern are also being demolished to make room for the college’s new athletic practice and training facility; construction is slated to begin in September.