Every other month we get an update on what’s been happening recently at our Immanuel Lutheran High School, College and Seminary in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
On the beautiful campus of Immanuel Lutheran High School, College, and Seminary in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, various buildings help to serve the unique circumstances of our Immanuel program. Immanuel exists to provide our students with a biblical foundation, based upon their Savior, Jesus Christ.
In order to accommodate students who come from various parts of our nation, dormitories are needed for housing. South Hall serves as the female dormitory, and North Hall the male dormitory; both are masonry structures that were built since the CLC acquired the property. A few male college students reside in West Hall, an original building that once housed servants for Erskine Ingram, the former owner of the property.
North Hall was built in 1980, and was designed with a unique heating system that utilized solar energy. This system was designed to passively circulate heated air around the building. Much of this solar system has not been functional since 2005, leaving the building to be heated by a supplemental electric baseboard system. Furthermore, deterioration has led to a number of energy deficiencies in North Hall. The building now consumes about 20-25% of the total energy costs on campus, adding approximately $20,000 annually to the ILC budget.
The 2016 CLC Convention directed the Board of Regents to proceed with an upgrade to North Hall in order to address these issues and to install a natural gas boiler system along with updated water heaters. Part of the project was begun in November of 2016. The solar panels and circulation systems on the roof were removed and replaced with regular roofing. Most of the remaining work will occur during Immanuel’s summer break when the dormitory is vacant. At that time there will be a flurry of activity as windows are replaced and the new heating system installed. The plan is for the project to be completed before students arrive for the fall 2017 semester.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be $300,000, which includes contingencies. The ILC facilities manager, Paul Heinze, is attempting to accomplish this project for much less. Normally such capital projects (like paving, remodeling, and professorage upgrades) are funded through donations to the ILC Improvement Fund (IIF). Due to the magnitude of this project, however, the Convention directed that this cost be added to the loan which financed the Academic Center built a few years ago. This loan is paid off through donations to the ILC Building Fund.
Dormitory life has always been a large part of a positive Immanuel experience. We thank the Lord for giving us the means to provide comfortable, efficient dormitories, and for the many lifelong Christian friendships which are established there.
John Hein is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Fridley, Minnesota, and chairman of the Board of Regents of Immanuel Lutheran College.