Saint Joseph’s Newman Center Unveils Plans For New Facility

Anne Orban, Contributing Writer

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The Campus at Black Hills State University has seen several changes this year. Both the alumni center and new residence hall have been under construction throughout the year, but the changes don’t stop there.

The Saint Joseph’s Catholic Newman Center unveiled its plans to build a new Newman Center next to campus on April 10. President Kay Schallenkamp spoke briefly on the importance of having a Newman Center close to campus as a place for gathering and community for college students.

The Newman Center is a place that is designed to give a Christian atmosphere to the campus community. The club offers bible studies as well as a place to do schoolwork for students who are involved. It also hosts a Home cooked meal for students on Sunday nights after 5:30 p.m. Mass services.

Through these events the Newman Center has been able to reach out to Catholic students looking for a place to live out their faith.

“The Newman Center definitely helped me to live my faith and make lifelong friends.” Stockman is an Elementary and Special Education Major and has been president of the club for two year where she has helped organize events and lead bible studies,” said President of the Newman Club, Cassie Stockman.

Since the current Newman Center is only a small house the club can only house about 20 students comfortably in their dining and living room area. Also, their chapel can only hold around nine students for their daily prayers and Tuesday night masses. The facility is also located across the street from the Catholic Church where the new facility will be located closer to campus.

Having a new facility would mean they could house more students as well as be more accessible to the students on campus. Seminarian Michael Hofer, who has been with the Saint Joseph’s Parish this year said, “I think one of the biggest difficulties for students in college is finding community.”

College students who are new to being on their own can sometimes find it difficult to find friends. The goal of the Newman center is to be that community for those students.

The Newman Club Chaplin, Monsieur Michael Woster, introduced the plans to a small group of students and faculty with an eight minute video. The video included a sneak peak at the plans as well as interviews from Newman Students.

After the video Monsieur Woster introduced Steve Williams, the architect of the new building. Williams walked the group through the blue prints and plans of the new building.

The building will be three stories and will include a chapel big enough to hold 150 students as well as two apartments for focus leaders and four residence rooms for students to live in exchange for cleaning and taking care of the facility.

Williams said the challenge of this building was making it fit in to the community. He still wanted to give it a residential look yet still hold to the reverent look that a church should have. In order to include all of the features the club wanted he designed it to be three stories high-with a place to eat, pray, study, and live for students.

“It honestly came together easier than I thought,” Williams said.

The purpose of this unveiling was not only to inform the campus about the plans but also to kick off its quiet campaign to raise the funds for the building. The goal is to break ground in two years. In order to make this goal the club plans to ask Catholic Alumni for larger funds and then in a year ask more community members for smaller donations.

President Schallenkamp gave her approval of the club by stating that she was in the Neman Center when she was a student. She stated that she was grateful for the Newman students and the Newman Club for all they do for the campus. President Schallenkamp ended her statement with the words, “success includes something more.”

The Newman Center hopes to give students a spiritual home away from home. The club will continue to offer its services to students. A larger facility will add diversity to campus and will offer students a way to escape and find community. For more information about the building visit bhsunewman.com

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