The International Center, that consists of three apartment buildings for French, Spanish and German speaking students, will not be used next year due to deteriorating amenities and lack of recent upkeep.
The buildings, located on 8th Street, were not built by Concordia College.
“Because they weren’t built by Concordia, they weren’t built to the standard of other residential facilities on campus,” Jasi O’Connor, the director of Residence Life at Concordia College, said.
A few years ago, the college engaged in conversation with EYP Architecture & Engineering to establish a master plan for the campus, seek places for expansion and get a better idea for the space available on campus.
Within that master plan document, EYP recommended the elimination of the International Center buildings.
“Over the past year we’ve gotten to the point where we would need an influx of money to improve the systems, or stop using them,” O’Connor said. “We would need a new electrical system, new plumbing, a centralized fire alarm system, new windows and more.”
O’Connor compared the situation to a damaging car accident.
“It’s like if you have an older car, and you total it,” O’Connor said. “Do you try to fix the car and spend thousands, or do you try and get a newer car?”
Though the International Center’s facilities will no longer be in use next year, the program will still continue. The third floor of Bogstad East, an upperclassmen apartment complex on campus located near Park Region Hall and Fjelstad Hall, will be reserved for students who still wish to study languages in a more immersive environment.
The third floor will consist of four Spanish, two French and two German apartments in addition to two new Norwegian apartments and one new Chinese apartment; two firsts for the program due to the previous lack of space available in the IC buildings.
This solution, though promising, is a temporary arrangement. The Office of Residential Life and the World Languages department have been in communication with each other and will observe how things work out next year before making any permanent decisions on the future of the program and the future of the International Center buildings.
“I do expect that, at some point, the buildings will be torn down. There’s a discussion on what will go in their place,” O’Connor said, on the topic of the IC building’s eventual fate.
According to O’Connor, a different building for different purpose might be erected, or the construction of an entirely new International Center is in discussion. The decision on the space will not be made for some time.
For more information on Residence Life or the International Center you call the office of Residential Life at (218) 299-3872, or visit concordiacollege.edu.