Opus Leverages Institutional Construction Expertise for Northwestern College

​With significant enrollment growth in recent years, Northwestern College, located in Orange City, Iowa, needed a new building for its health and natural sciences program. Through Client Direct Services, Opus constructed their new 61,750-square-foot building.

The building, which creates a grand entrance to the campus on the west side, includes classrooms, labs and faculty offices. It brings the nursing department, previously located in peripheral and off-campus spaces, to the center of the campus. It is also home to the chemistry and biology departments. Numerous state-of-the-art laboratories with ample space to accommodate long-running experiments are included. Larger classrooms have simulated exam and hospital rooms, replicating actual clinic environments. There are flexible learning zones that can be modified to accommodate various classroom requirements. 

Reflecting the health and natural sciences department’s science-on-display philosophy, the new building features indoor windows for visibility into classrooms and laboratories, enhancing the learning experience for both students and faculty. There are also large windows on external walls to bring natural light indoors, and outdoor garden plots, a greenhouse and vivarium that enhances the college’s natural science programs. The building has energy efficient mechanical and electrical systems, including a specialized cooling system that makes ice over night when utility rates are lower and uses the ice to cool the facility throughout the day.

The health and natural sciences center provides a foundation for Northwestern College to develop additional majors in related fields like biochemistry, genetics, healthcare administration and dietetics and nutrition.