Photo by Juliana Knot
The Rooks-Van Dellen residence hall will close for renovations during the 2020-2021 school year.
According to John Witte, dean of students, the dorm needed not just the usual fresh coat of paint and repairs done but also the installation of a fire-suppression system. RVD is the only dorm that lacks such a system, and the installation is complex.
RVD will re-open for the 2021-2022 school year.
Normally, the facilities crew would accomplish this in the summer, but because of the short time frame, Calvin would have to hire outside contractors, which costs more. According to Witte, working during the school year makes the work easier and less expensive. Calvin is able to close the entire dorm because of low enrollment. Similar renovations are taking place in Timmer this year.
Witte said that the decision was made late last week. Students in RVD were notified this past Tuesday to aid in their room placement decisions. Freshman Jackson Doezema lives on First Van Dellen and was frustrated by the news; he wanted to be dorm president.
“We’re all being forced to move and separate and scatter to different dorms, and we won’t have that sense of community that we were hoping to keep next year,” Doezema said.
Witte acknowledged the disappointment RVD students might feel. “We’ll be working with the current first-year students who had been planning to return to RVD, to keep groups together as we find available spaces in other halls, and we’re optimistic that this will help ease the transition,” Witte said.
Some students found out about the closure because of the Calvin meme pages @the_calvin_difference and @Calvin Memes for CRC Teens on Instagram and Facebook respectively.
Jay Wise, the director of residence life for housing and operations, and Rachel Hamilton, the resident director, will host a question and answer session in the Rooks basement on Thursday at 9 p.m. for Rooks residents and 9:45 p.m. for Van Dellen residents.