✖ close

Summer Construction Brings a Fresh Look to Bethel Drive and Interior Spaces

Summer means one thing in Minnesota: construction. Bethel’s campus is no exception. Here’s what to look for as students return this fall.

By Monique Kleinhuizen ’08, GS’16, new media strategist

August 24, 2018 | Noon

Financial Markets Lab in RC3

A financial markets lab, sponsored in part by Thrivent Asset Management, will allow students to monitor real-time stock tickers as they invest funds and manage a financial services firm for real clients.

Bethel is known for its beautiful campus, and this fall a number of new-and-improved spaces will enhance the student experience.

Bethel Drive 

Perhaps most noticeably, Bethel Drive—the main thoroughfare through campus—has been completely excavated and reconstructed, making it safer and more scenic for pedestrians navigating campus on foot.

Over the last two years, Rachel Hagen ’14 and her team at Minneapolis-based BKBM Engineers spearheaded the design of a new, updated stormwater drainage system and subterranean base for a more defined road, safer sidewalks, wider shoulders, and clearer wayfinding signage and crosswalks. Mechanics aside, natural boulder retaining walls and native plants will take the place of dated railway tie walls on Freshman Hill and haphazard shrubbery, creating a beautiful, natural-looking creekside space for the community to enjoy. A new “hammock hill”—with staggered, vertical wooden posts—will give students a convenient spot to hang in hammocks. 

Business and Economics Space 

The new Department of Business and Economics space has been completed, with 7,000 square feet of the Robertson Center (RC) dedicated to Bethel’s largest undergraduate department. It maintains consistency with the timeless and recognizable Bethel color palette, look, and functionality of other spaces across campus, but with cutting-edge capabilities. A priority-use business and economics classroom has SMART Boards, wireless connectivity between laptops and wall-mounted monitors, and more ways for students to engage with content. A financial markets lab, sponsored in part by Thrivent Asset Management, will allow students to monitor real-time stock tickers as they invest funds and manage a financial services firm for real clients. 

Business and Economics Space in Robertson Center

A 7,000-square-foot space in the Robertson Center is dedicated to the Department of Business and Economics. It features collaborative learning spaces, faculty offices, and flexible work areas for students.

Robertson Center (RC) Third Level

The third level corridor of the RC—from the east entrance in front of the RC Gym to the DeVries Lounge between the RC and the Hagstrom Center (HC)—has been updated with new paint, carpet, ceiling, lighting, and seating. Interactive signage and monitors display Bethel content, allowing visitors to get a sense for Bethel’s distinctive programs and life on campus. The exterior “RC Steps” have been refreshed with new landscaping and plants, giving the entrance more of an inviting feel for the many visitors who enter for sporting events and business professionals who will now use the entrance on their way to the new business and economics suite inside.

Kresge Courtyard

An original 1972 brick electrical building in Kresge Courtyard has been all but hidden by shrubs in recent years. Those shrubs have been removed and replaced with better landscaping to improve stormwater management. Passersby have already mistaken it for a new build. “We’re being proactive with the 13,800-volt system inside the building that provides electricity for the entire campus,” says Glenn Hofer, Director of Facilities Technical Operations, underscoring the importance of the tiny building to Bethel’s community. New plantings outside tie the landscaping together between Nelson Hall and the student-funded Legacy Patio east of Brushaber Commons as the area becomes a more popular hangout for students. 

According to Vice President for Facilities and Technology Mark Posner, it’s all part of an ongoing effort to refresh Bethel’s spaces in a fiscally responsible way, yet making them consistent with the excellent academics and student experience that happen within them. “There’s been a shift in how we look at the Facilities Management function on campus—going from updating carpets and changing light bulbs to really thinking about elevating spaces so they elicit a ‘Wow!,’” says Posner. He and his team have been key in defining how updates and renovations on campus can best serve the student body and Bethel’s staff and faculty. “We’re really reimagining what tired spaces can be and the transformation that can take place on campus.”

"There’s been a shift in how we look at the Facilities Management function on campus—going from updating carpets and changing light bulbs to really thinking about elevating spaces so they elicit a ‘Wow!'"

— Mark Posner, Vice President for Facilities and Technology

Visit Campus

There’s no better way to experience Bethel’s campus than to take a tour—now featuring a ride on a golf cart to experience the new Bethel Drive and outlying parts of campus. Tours are designed for prospective students and families, but alumni and friends of Bethel are always welcome.

Schedule a Tour

Publications

Bethel Magazine

Read the current issue.