September 22nd, 2016
The exponential growth of the school’s engineering major prompts renovation of cafeteria into a 15,000-square-foot collaborative design facility
NEWBERG, Ore. – The exponential growth of George Fox University’s engineering program prompted the school to take a bold step over the summer – completely renovate a decades-old building and convert it into a space to accommodate the needs of students in the major.
What was formerly the school’s cafeteria on George Fox’s Newberg, Ore., campus is now the Engineering Innovation Center, housed within the newly named Klages Center building. To commemorate the new facility, a grand opening celebration is set from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. The open-house event will include a short program and dedication ceremony and give visitors the opportunity to interact with engineering students during their demonstrations and dialogue with program faculty and alumni.
The public is invited to attend at no charge. To RSVP for the event, call 503-554-2134 or visit this link.
The new Engineering Innovation Center provides 15,000 additional square feet of space for the College of Engineering. It includes a 6,000-square-foot configurable project-build space (“Maker_hub”); a computer design lab; machine, welding and woodworking shops; an additive manufacturing lab; design studios; environmental, geotechnical, construction and transportation lab spaces; and a tool room. The space will be used not only for engineering students but also for those in other majors who wish to take advantage of the collaborative learning environment.
“To accommodate the tremendous growth of engineering and computer science programs over the past decade, we re-imagined the Klages Dining Room as a robust innovation space where students gain creative confidence by working in collaborative multi-disciplinary teams on design-build projects,” said Bob Harder, dean of the school’s College of Engineering. “This remodel represents a pivotal investment in advancing our students as servant innovators and cutting-edge thinkers, providing them with a greater capacity to design, build and test a variety of prototypes.”
Harder added that plans also include partnering with the surrounding community to develop innovation projects for the Chehalem Valley.
The engineering program at George Fox has come a long way since the program was launched in 2000, when the school housed the major in a 1,000-square-foot project lab and machine shop. Since then, the department has increased tenfold.
The growth of engineering coincides with the school’s enrollment boom, as this year George Fox’s surpassed 4,000 students for the first time (4,140). It marked the 27th time in 30 years the school established an enrollment record – and represents a sevenfold increase in students since 1986, when 549 students attended.
Such growth prompted George Fox to add a new residence hall, Brandt Hall, in time for the 2015-16 school year and construct a new 30,000-square-foot dining hall, Canyon Commons, on the east side of campus in time for the start of the 2016 academic year.
George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 13 master’s and doctoral degrees.
Dean, College of Engineering
George Fox University