ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Northwestern College will be breaking ground later in April as it begins the construction of a new women’s residence hall.

The groundbreaking will take place on April 21, and the college is inviting the public, students, and college staff to participate in the event, the college said in a release.

The building is planned to be a three-story building that will have 157 women in suite-style rooms. They plan to have the building ready for campus living by August 2024. The cost of the building is approximately $14 million. Fundraising is near completion.

The 45,000-square-foot building will consist of two wings with a gathering area at the center. It will also have a mini-market, meeting species, a kitchenette, and study nooks on the main floor. The second floor will have a full-size kitchen and lounge areas. The third floor will have a common area that aims to be large enough for all the residents to be able to hang out in the space.

Julie Elliott, Northwestern’s vice president of student life, praised the design as offering students “the best of both worlds”.

“Students will find that every public space is designed to create opportunities to connect with others on their wing, on their floor, and in the hall,” Elliott said. “In a time when Gen Z students in the U.S. report unprecedented levels of loneliness and social isolation, the friendships that develop in a space like this one are more important than ever.”

The vice president of enrollment and marketing, Tamara Fynaardt, said that they believe the facility will positively impact enrollment.

“Visitors to campus are nearly always impressed by how attractive our campus facilities are—and how many of them are new or newly remodeled,” Fynaardt said. “We’re eager to offer women looking at Northwestern just one more reason to choose to be a Raider: the chance to live in a brand new space.”

Elliot along with Northwestern’s President Greg Christ, the Vice President for Advancement Jay Wielenga, the Dean of Residence Life Marlon Haverdink, the college’s board of trustees chair Tricia Vermeer, will announce the hall’s name prior to the groundbreaking.

Representatives from the architect BVH Architecture, the general contract, Hoogendoorn Construction, and the project manager, Rainwood Development Partners, will also be present.