Calvin College Chimes

Calvin-owned Waltman Lake for sale

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Calvin-owned Waltman Lake for sale

Photo courtesy of Calvin.edu

Photo courtesy of Calvin.edu

Photo courtesy of Calvin.edu

Photo courtesy of Calvin.edu

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Calvin-owned Waltman Lake is officially on the market. Calvin College is actively looking to sell this property and put the proceeds back into the college. It is currently on sale for $1,475,000. 

Waltman Lake has been a haven for stressed college students for almost 20 years. Many dorms, departments and student organizations utilize the facilities for retreats and weekend getaways.

Junior Isaac Petersen said, “Waltman Lake was a great place to unwind from the stress of school and work. I loved to hang out with other students whether we were hanging out in the industrial kitchen or walking around the lake.”

Junior Juan Andres added, “Waltman Lake is the place that I met some of my closest friends.”

Sally Vander Ploeg, the vice president for administration and finance, explained that when the college is deciding whether to retain or sell property, three questions are asked.

First, the college examines if the property is key to the missional activities of Calvin. Second, Calvin evaluates if the property revenue is neutral. If the answer to this question is no, then essentially, student tuition dollars are paying to underwrite the ownership of the property. Finally, Calvin examines if the college should own the specific type of property — in this case, a camp. Factors such as location, buildings and use are evaluated.

While evaluating the usage of the camp over the previous five years, it was discovered that Waltman Lake was only used 40-45 days annually for educational and missional activities. Additionally, the camp was only used an average of 175 days out of 365 days each year.

Vander Ploeg stated in an email to Chimes, “Based on the quantity and type of use of the camp, the conclusion reached by the board was that the property did not appear to be key to the mission of the college.”

The sale proceeds for Waltman Lake would be used for sustainability initiatives on campus. The idea is that students will be able to see these effects daily, and not just on weekend retreats. No specifics have been given for what these initiatives would be.

Hannah Brenton, the resident director for Bolt-Heyns-Timmer (BHT) commented, “While Waltman Lake property has been an amazing place for retreats, I am grateful that we also have partnerships with other local camps like Camp Roger for future retreats.”

Camp Roger is located in Rockford, Michigan and although not owned by Calvin, has recently been a frequent location for many dorm and department retreats.

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