February 22, 2024


Epicurean Science & Tech

AU Celebrates Renovations and Ralph H. Wagoner Corridor

8 min read

The southwest conclude of Augustana University’s campus is just about unrecognizable — both inside of and out. 

Announced in Spring 2021 — as section of Augustana’s strategic approach Viking Daring: The Journey to 2030 — the university’s housing approach targeted on new and improved facilities is nearly total. The new south household village has taken condition with the completion of a new home hall, renovation of A.J. Bergsaker Corridor and development of a newly imagined campus green. Changes to Charles Orin Solberg Corridor — in the midst of a big facelift — will set the finishing touches on the prepare.

Ralph H. Wagoner Corridor and the Previous President Behind the Identify

Wagoner Hall OutsideHosted by the Higher Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, the Augustana community gathered with each other at a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 23 to rejoice the ribbon chopping and commitment of Ralph H. Wagoner Hall — named after Augustana’s 21st president.

When President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin knowledgeable Wagoner that his identify was heading to be on the developing, Wagoner recalled, “I bawled like a little one. I did not know what to do.” 

Getting a several seconds to manage his feelings and obtain his thoughts, Wagoner mentioned, “I’m honored. Outside of words, I’m honored. I hope I deserve it.”

“We all produced it function,” stated Wagoner, referring to people who worked alongside him for the duration of his time as president, from 1993-2000. “Those folks created a change in my everyday living not just in the life of students and their colleagues, but they produced a difference in my life.”

Ralph and Susie WagonerThe man who coined the phrase, “It’s a good day to be a Viking,” claimed the college and team labored challenging to crack down partitions and establish bridges among Augustana and the Sioux Falls neighborhood. 

“It truly is a wonderful day to be a Viking!”

Beneath Wagoner’s leadership, the Center for Western Reports (CWS) hosted the first Boe Forum on Community Affairs, Augustana built the Nelson Support Heart, devoted the Madsen Social Science Heart and the Outdated Gymnasium was renovated into the Edith Mortenson Center. Augustana’s five shared main values had been also proven by a committee of college students, college and employees and accredited by the Board of Trustees in the course of his administration.

“That makes me truly feel very good, the way they (the school) did it and took them to everyone,” mentioned Wagoner. “They (the core values) really were being place to the map, so to communicate. And, I’m just so very pleased of these people today, and so proud of the persons that bought off on them.”

In 2009, Ralph and Susie also set up The Ralph and Susie Wagoner Pupil-College Study Task Endowment Fund. Wagoner Pupil Road, which connects the Morrison Commons and Edith Mortenson Centre, is named in honor of the former president and to start with girl, who was a counselor at Augustana.

Wagoner Hall Kitchen Inside the Jewel Box“I would hope when people today consider of ‘Wagoner,’ they believe of the relevance she (Susie) experienced. She was normally with me,” Wagoner stated of his wife of 60 several years. “She saved a amount of young children she labored with in the Wellness Middle, along with her colleagues.”

The Wagoners traveled from their household in Apalachicola, Florida, to get a initially-hand seem at the new facility that bears his title — a facility that incorporates both dwelling and understanding environments with chances to innovate, establish neighborhood and aid inclusion.

The L-shaped residence corridor — situated north of Bergsaker and east of Solberg Halls — stands 3-stories tall with space for up to 208 beds.

Within the front doorways, the entire Augustana community has accessibility to a lounge region with pure light-weight flowing in as a result of a wall of home windows. Just a couple of steps forward, to the still left, is yet a different wall of windows, which features the major characteristic of the creating — referred to as the “Jewel Box.” The Jewel Box is a multi-intent house with integrated technological innovation for pupils, college, workers and members of the local community to host meetings, courses huge and modest, as well as cooking demonstrations with video-recording abilities.

Previous the Jewel Box, are bathrooms, vending machines, much more lounge and examine places, the corridor director’s apartment and place of work, assembly spaces for Augustana’s resident advisors, identified as Viking advisors (VAs) at AU, as perfectly as a crack space for custodial workers. The initial flooring also has a meditation space at the ask for of learners.

Wagoner Hall Residence HallFurther than all of this is a safe entrance only college students dwelling in Wagoner Hall have entry to the elevator and dwelling areas on the to start with, second and 3rd flooring.

Listening to enter from students as component of its housing research, Augustana obtained away from the more standard-style housing that the university provides in other residence halls — incorporating semi-suites into the style and design. With the exception of ADA-compliant and one rooms for VAs, most of the units consist of four beds, a shared lavatory and their individual heating and cooling models. In addition to their living units, on each floor, learners also have access to a lot more personal lounge and review places.

“Semi-suite design and style residing is the hot ticket suitable now. Which is just one piece of it, but also, we’re growing. If we definitely double down on our mission-critical items of staying a residential campus, we have got to observe what we preach. Residing on campus in a residence corridor is practical, but also aspect of the entire working experience of going to higher education,” mentioned Dean of College students Mark Blackburn.

And, lots of of these rooms have a breathtaking perspective of the south household village’s new courtyard, which includes an intramural sand volleyball court and a place for hammocks.

A Clean Glimpse at A.J. Bergsaker and Charles Orin Solberg Halls

Although Wagoner Hall was currently being created, a single of Augustana’s current home halls was offline — going through a significant renovation.

AU Wall in Bergsaker HallMost noticeable to the general public, together 33rd Avenue, balconies were eradicated from Bergsaker Corridor — changed with four tales of windows. There is no mistaking the campus from passersby as AU branding adorns the walls, which can be viewed via the home windows, especially at evening. And, occur Fall 2023, all those home windows will deliver pupils a person of the most amazing sights on campus — a view of Midco Arena, house of Viking Men’s Hockey.

Inside of, not significantly in Bergsaker was untouched. The hall was reconfigured, but nevertheless residences the exact same amount of beds as ahead of — 240 complete. The bogs had been also reconfigured and updated on every ground. The lobby acquired fresh new new finishes and consists of a kitchen, lounge region and laundry close by. Going in and out of the corridor is substantially easier now that an elevator has been put in, increasing accessibility and lofts are more conveniently adjustable.

Bergsaker Hall OutsideWhen Augustana scholar Liz Fossum ‘23 was questioned about the modifications to “Berg,” her first phrases have been “jaw-dropping.”

“It seems to be like a entirely unique making with the updates. It looks so modern, super awesome,” said Liz of the put she lived in her very first year at the university the exact same hall that her father, Scott Fossum ‘88, lived in as a resident advisor 30+ years prior.

And, it did not acquire prolonged for the Mitchell, South Dakota, indigenous to explore her most loved section.

“The laundry area,” reported the communications and intercontinental scientific studies double main. “It’s such an crucial portion of university everyday living — just acquiring a greater amount of washers and dryers for learners to use — that’ll be a enormous phase for the local community which is living there now.”

Bergsaker Hall InsideAugustana held with the much more traditional-fashion units in Bergsaker, with bogs independent from the dwelling units. Every single space now has its possess heating and cooling techniques and each and every flooring has lounges and areas for researching with built-in technologies in them.

The last to get renovations is Solberg Hall, which originally opened in 1955. The corridor is offline and getting much of the very same treatment as Bergsaker Corridor — established to open in Slide 2023.

As an Augustana cultural trade (ACE) ambassador to global learners and a student ambassador for the Business of Admission, Fossum cannot wait around to present potential pupils what Augustana has to offer you.

“I truly feel like most pupils arrive here for the reason that they sense the group on campus and that particular help,” stated Fossum. “But in the extensive run, for a pupil determining amongst two spots, it is just an further reward.”

A Reimagined Campus Green

Augustana is also building enhancements to the east of the south household village with a reimagined campus eco-friendly — set to be finish in Drop 2023.

Campus Green RenderingThe “green,” located in the center of campus, is undergoing renovations to involve a 100-lawn soccer field with lights, seating parts with charging stations, an further out of doors classroom with amphitheater-design and style seating and a h2o element.

The renovated inexperienced also has designated spaces for intramural sports activities, such as flag football, frisbee golfing, softball and spikeball.

“Our intramural method and activity golf equipment have been with no an out of doors play house for yrs, so we are very excited to see the subject in the campus eco-friendly be section of the renovation task,” explained Director of Recreational (Rec) Expert services Mark Hecht. “As remarkable as the place is for our flag soccer system and activity clubs, it really is even more interesting that this location will have lights.”

Wagoner Hall Campus GreenAn outdoor classroom on the south finish of the eco-friendly will be Augustana’s next — the 1st was designed in 2019, and is situated by the Madsen Centre. The unique has considering that encouraged location school districts to make similar classrooms.

“I’m a massive supporter of ‘influencing the influencer’ due to the fact that’s when alter transpires,” Blackburn reported. “It’s also about sustainability and adaptability. If school want to utilize the outdoor classroom, but the one particular by the Madsen Center is entire, it’s yet another house.”

To avert flooding, a retention pond on campus was relocated closer to Bergsaker Corridor along 33rd Avenue and includes a h2o function. The sidewalks that operate along with and involving the inexperienced and academic buildings have been also reconstructed. 

The renovated inexperienced is in the method of acquiring sod, which is why it can’t be used right until the spring, as the root programs have to have time to acquire. 

Regardless of when, Blackburn can’t wait for pupils to make use of it.

“Just to see the smiles on students’ faces as they get with a person one more and share concepts, and they’ll have a much larger area for special events and actions — that’s what I’m most fired up for,” Blackburn stated.

“It just reveals that they (the administration) listened to the pupil body when they were talking about what we necessary in this article on campus. Which is large, just to know that our voices are heard,” said Fossum. “They’re investing in our pupils and the long term.”

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