BVU Board of Trustees Announce $15.1 Million Forum Renovation


BVU plans for forum remodel

Olivia Wieseler, News Editor

On January 3, Buena Vista University (BVU) Board of Trustees announced the approval of a $15.1 million renovation for the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business and the Siebens Forum.

With plans to start construction this May and to finish in December 2018, the goal of this project is to create a more diverse, open, and collaborative environment for students in different organizations to work alongside faculty and staff.

And to have a cool place to study and hangout.

“The focus of the renovation is to create a space that is more student focused, by providing lounges, modern classrooms, accessible resources, and a stronger sense of BVU spirit,” BVU President Josh Merchant said in a press release.

The remodel includes many new renovations including a new dining experience, The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and a student center called “The Beaver Den.”

The Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dale Scully says BVU has been working with Sodexo in designing a new meal plan. To model a more modern style of eating, the inclusion of a Texas Roadhouse-style restaurant will also allow community access.

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion will be a large room in the main student center serving as a hub for international students, multicultural engagement, and spiritual life.  It will give students with different backgrounds a place to connect with student life on campus.

The final big project within the forum renovations, The Beaver Den, is meant to be the center of student life on campus.  “Students often seek a space to call their own, which is partly why so many colleges have student unions. Once finished, these renovations will dramatically repurpose the Forum with the primary intention of creating student gathering spaces,” said Mike Frantz, Vice President for Enrollment Management, in a press release.

Scully hopes The Beaver Den student center will be a “collaborative learning space” to “drive all of [BV’s] student activities and clubs.”

“No matter what type of working group you have, there will be a place to connect,” Scully says.

While the main student areas have been “ear-marked” as Scully says, for other projects. The planning and drafting stages for the remainder of renovations are still in progress.

Other plans for this project include putting the GSLC and Career and Personal Development offices near the Beaver Den, opening up the conference rooms and using glass walls to allow more natural light to filter in, and making the current GSLC and walkway between Pierce/White dorm halls and the forum a lounge space.

The School of Business offices and classrooms will also see changes, including the possible addition of a tradeshow room.

Scully says they continue to ask themselves, “How is this going to impact the students; how will it impact their day to day, make them feel like it is really their space?” These new renovations will hopefully spark more student involvement and interest in connecting with each other across campus.

Buena Vista University wants to continue to build the connectivity both on and off campus, and they are hopeful that this innovative project will bring some of that collaboration and excitement to the Beaver community.