Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 4:20 am | Fair 36º


Westmont Students Move Into New Digs at Global Leadership Center

Community kitchen, rooms with private bathrooms are big hits

Haley Parzonko, a senior, opens door to her new place at Global Leadership Center.
Haley Parzonko, a senior, opens door to her new place at Global Leadership Center. (Westmont College)

The first Westmont College students have 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 lounge, classroom, seminar room, office spaces and coffee shop.

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 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 the kitchens and 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 can open to outdoor patios to incorporate the scenic, natural setting.

The new buildings 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,” said 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,” Jones said.

Senior Dominique Delgado, a cross-country athlete, first noticed the air-conditioning in the room 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,” Delgado said.

Senior Haley Parzonko, a forward on the women’s soccer team, said she 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 I think is the key to freedom,” she said.

A number of residents are returning from off-campus programs and will share their experiences with each other.

Cole Eberwein, a cross-country team member and editor-in-chief of the Horizon, said he appreciates that bathrooms have two sinks.

“I like how we have our own space, even if it means we’ll have to clean up our own mess," the senior said. "We have three closets for the two of us. So we’ll put a couch there and a TV there.”

Nadine Lara, another cross-country team runner, 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 students 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.

— Scott Craig for Westmont College.

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