Tabor College is officially set to break ground on new housing in spring 2022. Since approval in April 2021, plans have taken shape for the new residential project on the northeast corner of campus.
The initial build will be for a large two-story duplex with a basement that sits along Adams Street, just south of Dakota Hall and northeast of the Business Studies building.
With a record number of freshmen in the current academic year, the need for new housing became even more evident.
“God has opened an exciting chapter in the history and legacy of Tabor College,” President David Janzen said. “The decisions we are making are going to impact generations of students, and that’s very exciting. It’s going to be an inviting place for a long, long time.”
Two years ago, a housing task force was created to assess student living. Chaired by former Tabor Vice President of Student Development Judy Hiebert, the committee was asked to put together a report of what would be wanted in a new residence hall. Members of that group included the following:
• Judy Hiebert, Community Representative & Chair
• Rusty Allen, Exec. VP of Operations
• Mike James, VP of Business & Finance
• Terry Ens, Director of Facilities
• Emir Ruiz Esparza, Dean of Student Life, Learning and Formation
• Lance Carter, Sports Information and Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach
• Amy Ratzlaff, Associate Dean/Assistant AD/Assistant Professor of Health & Human Performance
• Sara Sigley, Director of Residential Education
• Amanda Lee, Assistant Residential Educator
• Madison Gallagher (g’21), Student Senate President
That task force was involved in developing the floor plan. Janzen, Ens and James sat down to finalize the project with structural needs.
“We’ve worked hard to create what’s best for our students,” Ens said. “The collaboration behind this project brought a wide representation of our campus together. From the conceptualization of the project to the theme of what’s important in housing (that was created by Student Life), we have been able to capture that collaboration in home, community, and security.”
Similar to the townhouses that were completed in 2006, this two-story duplex will include two residence halls and allow men and/or women to move into separate facilities upon completion. A total of 80 beds will be added within the duplex, including 34 double rooms and 12 single rooms.
The 80 beds are expected to both accommodate growth and replace aging residence halls.
Each residence hall will be equipped with its own kitchen, living room and storm shelter. There will also be eight study rooms and six study/social areas between the two spaces.
“It strikes the right balance of home, community and security,” Janzen said. “Those are three big words in this process. You walk in and it feels like a home. It doesn’t feel like a dormitory. You come in and there is a foyer, lounge and kitchen. It will feel like you’re walking into someone’s house.”
Over time, James said it’s exciting to have a project that impacts a majority of the Tabor campus.
“This will be a big opportunity to impact our greater student body,” James said.
Ron Braun, vice president of philanthropy, said Tabor constituents have given generously and sacrificially for all of the current housing. The need for housing and opportunity to provide for current and future students has risen once again.
Lifelong relationships were formed and cemented inside residence halls for a large majority of Tabor students. Braun asks that Tabor graduates remember the gifts that made those moments possible and consider giving a gift to this project.
“When we look at the housing that is needed, the expenses have grown exponentially over the years,” Braun said. “This is a big undertaking and a tremendous need for Tabor College. We need people’s participation in making this vision come alive.”