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December 2016


Dear Abbot Pennings,

“The college sure has a lot of brick buildings. I’m wondering how many bricks make up campus buildings. Any estimate?” 

Steven Hofacker ’15


Dearest Steven,

When I read your question, I must admit I chuckled to myself at the thought of challenging those of our Fitbit-wearing staff members upon whom I might call to gain a few (million) extra, ahem “steps” by taking time to count each brick on campus. But instead, I decided it was time to call upon my dear friend Mike Van Drisse, our treasured manager of maintenance and services.

Mike was kind enough to remind me that there are 38 buildings on campus that are constructed of brick. In fact, only three of our buildings are not. (They are the grounds facility situated between Jacobs Court and Marsh Street; the Rev. Ignatius Francis Van Dyke, O.Praem., Alumni House; and the Thomas & Maureen Manion Townhouse Village.

Now, Mike informed me that it would indeed take days or even weeks, and much labor, to obtain an exact count of all of our bricks. However, we do have one considerable building under construction at this very time: the Mulva Family Fitness & Sports Center, Mike does have in his possession an estimate for the 40,000 more bricks that it will take to complete this most significant expansion of our former Schuldes Sports Center, which will open in late spring of 2017.

With that figure in mind, dear Steven, it may be possible for you and my other loyal readers to come closer in imagination to an estimate of the much larger sum about which you inquire.

Responses to “Ask the Abbot” questions are penned by St. Norbert College staff in the name of Abbot Bernard Pennings, O.Praem., who founded St. Norbert College in 1898.  

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