Students at Orange City's Northwestern College have had to step carefully around construction cones the past few years.
All that work is a sign of progress for students and their school, but it's just the start of exciting changes to come.
Last April, Northwestern College broke ground on the new Learning Commons, the centerpiece of the school's last master plan. Now, leaders have approved a new plan to serve the school for the next ten years.
"It's a pretty aggressive timeline," said Northwestern College President Greg Christy.
That timeline includes renovation of the library over the next 12 to 18 months, a new science building to be built within next five years, and an addition to the student center.
Renovations to the student center were just completed in 2011. President Christy said this next phase includes improvements to the fitness center, and the expansion of the athletes' practice areas.
"We have 100 more student athletes on our campus than we did five years ago. So, the growth of those programs have put a lot of pressure on the student center," said Christy.
Enrollment is up overall as well.
"This spring is the largest enrollment that we've had in the last five years," explained Christy.
The expansion plans at the student center wouldn't be possible without the acquisition of six acres next door. The owners of this outdated grain elevator and co-op approached the campus with an offer to sell.
"To acquire six acres of property adjacent to your campus is a unique opportunity," added Christy.
This spring, the school will take over the Alceco property, paving the way for future opportunity and the largest growth the campus has seen in at least 30-years.
"Anytime you have construction going on campus it's a positive sign," said Christy.
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The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa's Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic. More >>
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