Renovations on campus aim for efficiency and utility

Market Place

Another renovation occurring on campus includes the introduction of Coca-Cola Freestyle machines to the Market Place.

“Last year, Coca-Cola representatives visited campus. They were wondering if we might be interested in placing them on campus,” Director of Dining Services and the Bookmark Steve Kjellgren ’86 said.

Gustuvus has become one of the first colleges in Minnesota to adopt the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines.

“Environmentally, it’s a positive move. We hopefully will reduce the number of plastic bottles [generated] on campus,” Kjellgren said.

The new Coca-Cola Freestyle Machines were installed in late August. Vinny Bartella
The new Coca-Cola Freestyle Machines were installed in late August. Vinny Bartella

With the new machines in the Market Place, small changes have been made to the area to reduce congestion and create more efficiency.

“We designed the beverage counter so that hot drinks are on one side and cold drinks are on the other. To make room for the new Coke machines and water dispensers, we had to reduce the size of the fruit stand, which means we won’t offer less fruit, but we will fill it more frequently,” Kjellgren said.

Prices in the Market Place have shifted over the summer as well. Kjellgren attributes most of the price increases to accommodate not the Coke machines—which Gustavus does pay to rent—but to the addition of more compostable dining ware such as cups and lids. He also attributes many of the price decreases on entrees to switching suppliers.

“We hope the learning curve on the machines will be brief. We have had many positive reactions from athletes and other early returning students,” Kjellgren said.

Norelius Hall

Norelius Hall also underwent renovations over the summer. The co-ed dormitory, dedicated in 1967, went through its fourth and final phase of redoing the bathrooms, a project that began in 1999. In this final phase, the bathrooms in the H tower of the building were redone.

The changes to each bathroom include updating showers, toilets and sinks. In addition, a personal bathroom, complete with toilet, sink, and shower, was also installed.

“This will allow us flexibility when accommodating students with physical limitations or the need for private bathroom space. And this will allow us flexibility when discussing transgender housing in the future,” Director of Residential Life Charlie Potts ’01 said.

A second renovation in the dorm concerned allocating study space for students. Residential Life examined the use of student common areas. In order to provide greater utility and better efficiency to students, certain common areas have been rearranged.

“More and more people have laptops and aren’t spending the same amount of time on public computers. We are rearranging to put the computer lab in the smaller conference room attached to that space and cutting down on the number of public computers,” Potts said.

The former computer lab will be transformed into a comfortable lounge and study space. Tables, chairs, and couches will be brought in, and a 50-inch TV will be put on the wall.

“It will be a great hang-out space for first-years,” Potts said.

Another renovation aims to connect first-year students of Norelius Hall to a greater part of campus. The second floor study lounge will occasionally host classroom sessions for First-Term Seminars (FTS) concentrating on Learning and Living Communities (LLC), a committee whose vision aims to provide a seamless environment that links students’ learning in and out of the traditional classroom.

As part of a trial run, second floor residents of Norelius enrolled in Music Professor Ruth Lin’s Film Music course and Political Science and GWS Professor Alisa Rosenthal’s We Shall Overcome the Politics of Racial Change course will hold class sessions in the new study lounge.

“Students enrolled in those classes will hopefully benefit from each other and from faculty members right in the residential halls. The LLC is very good at helping students bridge the gap between what happens in and outside of the classrooms,” Political Science Professor and Faculty in Residence of FTS programs Kate Knutson said.

The classes will use the rooms to view films and have discussions. The professors will hold office hours there as well. Although the rooms are reservable, they will remain open to students.