Campus buildings receive needed facelift


Chris Ferman

Two construction workers ascend on a crane to continue work on Sorensen Hall’s renovations.

Gavin Nicoson

Bergendoff and Sorensen are seeing changes inside and out as renovation projects on both buildings continue.

Though the projects are happening right next to each other, they utilize different contractors and differ in history and purpose. Bergendoff’s renovations were conceptualized in the spring of 2013. Kirk Anderson, chief financial officer and vice president of administration, said that this long-planned renovation is an extensive overhaul.

“In the ceiling or on top of the building are all of the mechanical systems related to the building,” Anderson said. “They were also extremely old and broken up because over time, you have additions with separate mechanical systems.”

Replacing these old decentralized systems and upgrading windows makes energy use more efficient. In addition to these improvements, Anderson said that renovations were made to suit Bergendoff use as an artistic and social space.

“That includes nice studios for rehearsals and practices, large practice areas and also a gathering area,” Anderson said. “It isn’t uncommon for students to sit in the hallways between classes, and we’ve created a space for them now to gather and create more of a social atmosphere.”

Though internal updates are being made, Sorensen has seen most of its construction on the exterior of the building.

“It is pretty much the first building that you see when you come into Augustana and it was, I think, renovated in the 1960s,” Anderson said. “With that being the case, we needed a new ‘front door’ to the college to make sure that it’s a welcoming place for everybody.”

Although material shortages have caused delays, the projects will move forward without delay.

“By the time graduation rolls around, we would like to have [Sorensen Hall] as finished as possible,” Anderson said. “Over the next couple of months, with Bergendoff, some of the new areas will start opening up and the areas that are now available will be closed as we start moving in at the
end of March.”

In addition to Hamann Concert Hall in Bergendoff, Students will have access to a new film program space in Sorensen Hall starting in the fall of 2023.

“At the very center of every decision we make regarding renovations and new construction is the goal of providing our students with an amazing experience,” Barnds said.

While construction plans attempt to beautify Sorensen, students must exercise caution around things that could potentially injure them.

“It’s important to separate construction from the movement of students and professors. If you don’t separate some of those things, it can become dangerous,” Anderson said. “It’s important for students to make sure that they are safe and aware of their surroundings.”