The first Westmont students moved into the Global Leadership Center, a 45,000-square-foot facility east of Van Kampen Hall that features two residence halls and a central leadership building with a large lounge, classroom, seminar room, office spaces, coffee shop and more. Through the Strength for Today Campaign, the college raised $34.1 million to build the facility and another $8.7 million to fund leadership programs associated with the center. In all, Westmont raised $155 million, supporting the endowment and scholarships as well as the Global Leadership Center.
During the school year that begins Monday, Aug. 28, the two-story residence buildings will house about 140 students in 70 rooms, each with a private bathroom. To maximize flexibility for students, each floor features 800-square-foot kitchens with multiple cook stations, refrigerators and storage areas, allowing students to opt out of meal plans at the Dining Commons to cook their own food on site. The central location of all the kitchens and the adjacent lounges are intended to build community.
The central leadership building, which includes walls that open and movable furniture, can transform for multiple uses, such as a student lounge and for lectures, banquets and special events. On occasion, the glass walls open to outdoor patios to incorporate the scenic, natural setting.
The new buildings comfortably house Westmont’s executive leadership training program on campus during the summer months.
“I’m pleased at the way the new structures fit in among the oak trees on the site,” says Randy, Jones, director of campus planning. “I appreciate the contrast between the curving oaks and the contemporary architecture.
“I’m excited to see students sharing the kitchen facilities. The innovative concept of shared kitchens could be a model for future facilities here at Westmont and for other campuses.”
Senior Dominique Delgado, a cross country athlete, first noticed the air conditioning in her room that she shares with fellow cross country athlete Janna Jensen. “I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone adjusts to the new buildings and excited to have all the upper classmen together,” she says.
Senior Haley Parzonko, a forward on the women’s soccer team, enjoyed the smell of her new room as she first moved in. She lived off campus last semester while studying with Westmont Downtown. “I have a car which is I think is the key to freedom,” she says. Many residents are returning from off-campus programs and will share their experiences with each other.
Senior Cole Eberwein, a member of the cross country team and editor-in-chief of the Horizon, likes the bathrooms and two sinks in the new residence halls. “I like how we have our own space, even if it means we’ll have to clean up our own mess. We have three closets for the two of us. So we’ll put a couch there and a TV there.”
Nadine Lara, a runner on the cross country team, and Nathan Cha, a member of Intercultural Programs, were the first to size up one of the new community kitchens, counting the number of counter-top stoves, ovens and refrigerators. Both are no longer on the college’s meal plan and will be cooking their own meals. “Oh, I can’t wait to make pancakes,” Lara said.