Kent Campus Center construction has commenced and is ‘right on schedule’

by Sarah Stout & Meghan Vosberg

The Kent Campus Center is now underway with the area fenced off, bulldozers hanging high, and construction employees working daily.

“From prior year surpluses, all this work is being completed with only $3 million in new borrowing,” said Ken Birkenholtz, the vice president for business and finances. “These projects will serve to be a great attraction for Simpson College’s future classes.”

The campus center has an anticipated completion date of fall 2012.

“The construction on the Kent Campus Center is full speed ahead,” Birkenholtz said. “The college at this time does have the sufficient funding to build the new facility at this time because of generous donors.”

The lack of a current student center is causing changes across the campus.

Simpson College president John Byrd explained that the biggest change is the lack of the Storm Street Grill.

“One of the biggest effects I see happening around campus is that the food service is open almost constantly,” Byrd said. “There is more eating time in a limited space.”

Sophomore Nathan Liston has also noticed students and faculty trying to adjust to using one dining area.

“The biggest [change] is [the] addition of hours offered by the dining hall, but a fall- back is the food has been scarce at busy times of the day,” Liston said.

In other aspects of the college, the Student Government Association is also being affected by the current lack of a student center. Sophomore class president, Addi O’Conner, explained that this is quite a change from tradition.

“There is no free popcorn or pop that can be served because we no longer host events by the grill,” O’Conner said. “[SGA] is excited about the new student center.”

Byrd says the Kent Campus Center is right on schedule.

“The building is expected to give lots of ‘wow’ factor,” Byrd said. “It will be a very visual building.”