Dirt on the floor is a good thing at Hansen facility

Hansen Center pavilion

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences officially put its new Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center to use last week with the start of spring semester. The facility, located south of campus on Mortensen Road, features four finished classrooms (with space for two more), restrooms, serving kitchen and an indoor arena that measures 250 feet by 110 feet and has 825 permanent seats.

The state-of-the-art arena is large enough to host equine events -- such as the Cyclone Stampede fall rodeo. Its three 30-by-30 foot overhead doors will accommodate the largest of farm implements. It took 100 dump truck loads of dirt and sand to create 18 inches of floor fill (photo above). The dirt surface has an optional plastic cover for large events requiring tables and chairs.

The arena floor will see its first use this week, with Animal Science 101 students "meeting" lots of animals on Friday, Jan. 24, and an ISU cattle auction scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Formerly, the college had to contain indoor events in the Kildee Hall pavilion or transport groups to one of the teaching farms on State Avenue.

(Pictured below) Assistant professor of animal science Cheryl Morris uses flashcards to get to know the students in her Companion Animal Management class, which was meeting in two of the Hansen Center classrooms. Photos by Bob Elbert.

Hansen Center classroom