Fieldhouse Renovations Invite More Students

Photo courtesy

Calvin has tripled the seating options at the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex and closed the spirit shop in a bid to create more areas on campus where students can relax and study.

There are also plans to add a big screen TV to the new seating area, as well as a food venue. Creative Dining Services will make a final decision regarding the kind of food the new venue will offer later this year.

According to John Witte, the dean of residence life, the effort followed a committee discussion of the social climate on campus.

“We wanted [the Fieldhouse] to be another place students could feel comfortable studying if they wanted to get out of their residence halls,” Witte explained.

The Fieldhouse was always meant to be a place for all students to hang out. However, the committee this summer realized most students don’t currently use it as a social space.

John Britton, associate dean of student development, headed the committee that oversaw the renovation. Britton designated a group of students to conduct over 125 interviews with other students about study and social spaces all over campus.

From there, the committee put together a task force that organized five focus groups and had five meetings to discuss a new plan for the layout.

President Le Roy has been a part of conversations about the renovation, working with the committee to set aside $50,000 for the renovations.

As a building devoted to athletic events, Britton noted that the design of the Fieldhouse still caters to athletes more than the campus-at-large. However, he hopes that the renovations help transform the area into more of a “campus family room.”

In the future, according to Britton, the Fieldhouse could even be used as a student union area, where clubs and organizations could convene.

Another feature that Britton would like to see introduced is a destination food calendar at the Knight Cafe. This would be similar to what is in place at Uppercrust dining area. Iitems such as specialty grilled cheese or sushi could be offered.

Creative Dining might also provide a smoothie bar at the Knight Cafe.