Hagfors grand opening draws crowds

Ben Stark, Staff Writer

The Hagfors Center officially opened, and the building’s four-week trial run concluded on Jan. 27. Over a month ago, faculty began to move into their new spaces, and now spring semester classes have begun in the new building. Faculty, alumni and students gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the new building.
The Board of Regents held their quarterly meeting on the Friday preceding the event. The meeting was planned in conjunction with the grand opening, where board members were finally able to tour the building after years of planning and fundraising. Contractors put finishing touches on the building and finished up their last few indoor projects. A’viands prepared to cater the event; they provided three buffet tables on different floors. Meanwhile, facilities management cleared the remaining ice patches and snow drifts left from Monday’s storm.
The opening was well attended; there were a few suits and fur coats, but for the most part the event was a casual walk-through. Alumni explored the new building and caught up with old friends. Donors like Norman and Evangeline Hagfors toured the building and talked with students about the facility’s impact. Professors in the biology, chemistry and physics departments opened their labs to guests, and students showcased their research in the hallways, gathering to talk about their work.
The Hagfors Center’s open-armed design welcomes the whole neighborhood; this design incorporates Augsburg’s mission to engage with the community. After the grand opening, only one major issue remains: the entrances are still locked to commuter students and other members in the community without building fobs. This is an issue that public safety will need to address in the coming months. Regardless, a finished building is much better for the neighborhood than a construction zone.
As you head east on I-94 at night, the Hagfors Center’s greenhouse lights up the sky. The building has already had an impact on the neighborhood. The grand opening was only the beginning; there are bound to be many more events that take place in the new building, like the Community Garden grand opening.

This article first appeared in the Friday, February 2, 2018, Edition of The Echo.