photo by Ellen Beck
Construction equipment sits where a new addition to the Music Center is expected to open in the fall of 2022.
By Anna Herl
Concordia’s 2021-2022 academic year is beginning, and students will see some changes around campus. Here’s what’s been happening over the summer and some programs coming your way.
Music Building Construction Continues
The east half of the Music Center, originally built in 1966, has been torn down and will be replaced by a new structure that will improve functionality. The west half of the building stays put but will get an extreme makeover to enhance the acoustics and fix accessibility issues.
This project required $17 million and “as of Aug. 4, just over $13 million of the needed $17 million has been secured, which allowed construction to start,” said Scott Seevers, senior director of development and engagement. “Fundraising efforts will continue to ensure the building’s construction, as well as a new endowment to provide for its ongoing excellence, will be completed without using tuition revenue.”
CUNE Chief Financial Officer David Kumm said that so far, the construction phase is on schedule for a fall 2022 opening.
The new and improved Music Center will include study areas and gathering spots, and it will be a home for the music students.
“I expect that our classrooms will be desirable for non-music gen ed courses and campus wide meetings,” said A Capella Choir Director Dr. Kurt von Kampen, chair of the Music Department. “The doors are open. We are here for everyone.”
The building is designed with a better understanding of acoustics. It will include:
· Rooms that are the right size for ensembles, creating an environment that is safe for decibel levels that can occur.
· Practice rooms with acoustic isolation.
· A basement that will be a dedicated professional recording studio divided into four separate spaces: a recording studio, tracking room and two isolation rooms.
· The “Black Box” theater will return with higher ceilings and seating that will allow the audience to see the stage better.
· Safety systems that will ensure safety without interference of events. This includes a sprinkler and air system.
Music Department faculty have offices in other campus buildings until construction is complete, and classes will be held throughout campus.
Chartwells Adds New Program
The Chartwells team has added a new program called O2GO. It will allow students, faculty, and staff to take their meals with them in a sustainable container for a one-time fee of $5. Used containers can be returned to the Dining Hall to be cleaned in exchange for either a clean container or a token that can be redeemed later. Additional information can be found at the DineOnCampus website, where students also can find menu items and nutritional information. Additionally, the stir-fry station in the dining hall is back, along with a fully self-serve salad bar. The Dog House will continue to serve American cuisine food.
As usual, dietary requirements will be accommodated as long as students inform the Dining Hall staff of their needs. Students are encouraged to give feedback to Chartwells about the food service and a feedback response process is being developed to help make communication between students and staff more efficient.
Agriculture Education Program
A new CUNE academic program has been developed — Agriculture Education — in response to a shortage of Vocational Agriculture teachers in the Midwest. Students who complete this program will be credentialed as Vocational Agriculture teachers, but they will need to take three specialized courses at Southeast Community College to fulfill requirements.
The Concordia Speech team has been very successful so Debate will be added in the Fall of 2022. Coach Joe Davis will spend this year recruiting members.
The Athletic Department’s proposal for power lifting was approved by CUNE Cabinet. A coach will be hired during the school year and the team will begin training to compete in the 2022-2023 academic year.