Prince opened to house sick; RVD now nearly empty


Juliana Knot

The Prince Conference Center accommodates 20 to 30 isolated or quarantined students.

Early February’s case spike led the university to open the Prince Conference Center to accommodate sick students. Now as cases plummet, both the PCC and Rooks-Van Dellen residence hall are nearly empty.

Currently, there are four active student cases isolated and 15 students quarantined on campus.

At the peak of the surge, 93 active cases isolated on campus, and another 132 were quarantined on campus. RVD, the residence hall designated for quarantine, can house over 100 students, with each student having their own room; the PCC accommodates another 20 to 30 isolated or quarantined students.

According to Vice President for Student Life Sarah Visser, RVD neared capacity at the peak of the spike, with almost 300 students in isolation or in quarantine on campus. This prompted the university to open the Prince as an overflow space.

According to Jay Wise, director of college housing and operations, Student and Residence Life were always confident that they would be able to accommodate the worst of the spike. “While this work can be daunting, we believe it is the best approach. We have a great team here at the university made up of Health Services staff, Residence Life staff, contract tracers, and several more behind the scenes staff all caring for students as best we can,” Wise said.

This past spring, the Prince housed members of the Grand Rapids Police Department and Spectrum Hospital workers who worried they might take the virus home to their families. Now, it only serves Calvin’s student population. As cases remain low, use of the hotel and conference center won’t be as necessary.

We anticipate that we will use Prince Conference Center rooms less going forward, particularly as RVD has ample capacity,” Visser said.

However, if the need arises, Visser says that the Prince could once again be used for isolation and quarantine.


This story has been updated to reflect that the Prince Conference Center is still hosting outside guests.