Plans are being made to demolish Northwestern’s longtime neighboring landscape of grain elevators, feed mills and the Cenex Convenience Station.
According to President Greg Christy, NW recently purchased the six acres that adjoins the southwest portion of campus because the land poses great prospects for the college.
“This property offers us the opportunity to reconsider future expansion,” Christy said.
According to Christy, NW plans to expand the Rowenhorst Student Center to the west by building more athletic facilities.
Student-athletes and non-athletes alike agree extra space is needed.
“There is a lot of competition for the space that is available between the sports teams, intramurals, the students and the general public,” said junior baseball player Cody Groskreutz.
Groskreutz and the baseball team have had to adjust the time of day they practice because most sports teams practice right after classes. As a result, the baseball team practices either early in the morning or late at night so it can use all the courts without interference.
Senior Kayla Johnson said the women’s golf team has had to overcome the athletic facility’s limited space by getting creative with scheduling.
According to Jonson, the golf team holds winter practices in four half-hour shifts on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 to 10 p.m.
“We work around everyone’s schedule,” Johnson said.
Many non-athletes who use the facilities for working out feel similar frustrations.
Senior Taylor Hoekstra uses the RSC mini-gym almost daily whether he is working out or participating in an intramural game.
“At times, there are literally hundreds of people in the RSC,” Hoekstra said. “Some running, some walking, some shooting hoops, some passing a volleyball and some throwing 90 mph fastballs. It just gets dangerous.”
According to Christy, NW has other reasons for buying the land besides expanding the athletic facilities. Demolishing the grain elevator could decrease truck traffic on Highway 10 and has the potential to improve the campus aesthetically.
“As people are entering from the west side of campus, we will have even more of a presence,” Christy said.
Demolition is scheduled to start after graduation so that everything can be cleared before next school year.
“It will look a lot different when students come back in the fall,” Christy said.