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Construction buzzing across NDSU campus hits record dollar amount for simultaneous projects

Construction is underway on the Peltier Complex, and work is wrapping up on Sugihara Hall and phase one of the Nodak Insurance Football Performance Complex.

Bison football complex is still cordoned off with fencing while construction is underway
The Nodak Insurance Football Performance Complex is seen on Sept. 22, 2022, at 1380 16th Ave. N. on the NDSU campus. Phase one of the project, involving outdoor and indoor practice fields, should be done by the third week in October.
Chris Flynn / The Forum
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FARGO — More than the usual amount of construction is going on at North Dakota State University this fall.

Mike Ellingson, director of facilities management, said while the activity doesn’t constitute the largest number of projects happening at one time, it is a record-breaker in one aspect.

“We have never undertaken this many dollars in a single time period,” he said.

Ellingson is overseeing multiple academic and athletic building projects on campus.

He said “the big three” are the $85-million Peltier Complex, the $51.2-million Sugihara Hall project and the $50-million Nodak Insurance Football Performance Complex.

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Construction on the Peltier agriculture complex only began in the last few months, while the other projects are nearing completion or have phases that are complete.

“Obviously, it's a challenge. There's a lot going on,” Ellingson said.

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Construction on the Peltier Complex seen on Sept. 22, 2022. It will be NDSU’s largest academic facility, housing food science, meat science, and cereal science laboratories along with the Northern Crops Institute and the North Dakota Trade Office.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

Foundation work is underway at the Peltier Complex site on the southwest corner of campus, across from the Wallman Wellness Center.

In 2021, the state legislature approved $70 million for the project, and $15 million more was raised with private funds.

At around 159,000 square feet, it will be the largest academic building on campus, bringing together NDSU’s food science, meat science and cereal science laboratories.

The complex will also house the North Dakota Trade Office and the Northern Crops Institute, an agency committed to developing and marketing crops grown in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana.

Steel deliveries are planned for the end of October, and it’s hoped workers can start erecting the steel in November, Ellingson said, with a completion date slated for the spring of 2024.

Sugihara Hall.jpg
Sugihara Hall on the NDSU campus is named for James M. Sugihara, an NDSU faculty member and administrator who died in 2019 at age 101. The new science building houses the Departments of Chemistry and Geosciences and was dedicated in January 2022.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

Sugihara Hall, which houses the chemistry, biochemistry and geosciences departments, was finished and dedicated in January, but construction on connecting skywalks is ongoing.

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It was a complicated project that involved replacing the fire-prone Dunbar Hall, which previously housed those departments and was not designed for the kind of work that went on there, Ellingson said.

Dunbar was kept operational until Sugihara was built to minimize research downtime , and it was razed in March of this year.

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Work on the skywalks between Hultz Hall, Ladd Hall, Sugihara Hall and the Memorial Union, seen on Sept. 22, 2022. The skywalks are set to be completed mid-October, which will allow students to use them before the winter months.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

A skywalk will connect Sugihara to Ladd Hall, and an additional skywalk will connect the Memorial Union to Ladd, effectively joining the Union and other connecting buildings to Hultz, Morrill and Sugihara halls, as well as the Quentin Burdick Building.

The skywalks provide a respite for students and faculty during the winter months and help keep them off the roadways.

As for the $50-million Nodak Insurance Football Performance Complex, a ribbon-cutting is planned for October on phase one of the project, Ellingson said.

While the Bison football team has been using the outdoor field there, the indoor practice facility should be operational by the third week of October.

The indoor facility is being completed in phases based on available funding.

Phase one involved the indoor and outdoor fields, phase two will involve a weight room and recruitment area and phase three will include a sports medicine area, locker rooms and meeting rooms.

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While the facility is predominantly meant for football, the installation of netting will also allow it to be used by softball, baseball, golf and soccer teams, Ellingson said.

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The outdoor track at the Ellig Sports Complex on the NDSU campus is seen on Sept. 22, 2022.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

Workers are also putting final tweaks on a refresher of the Ellig Sports Complex, at $5 million.

The outdoor track was resurfaced and new bleachers and a press box were installed.

Another important construction project involves the NDSU Counseling Center in Ceres Hall, at $2.2 million.

“Counseling (for students) is a very critical thing for our campus,” Ellingson said.

Remodeling includes adding proper ventilation, getting rid of environmental concerns like asbestos floor tile, replacing window air conditioners with a centralized air conditioning system and creating a relaxation space.

During construction, student counseling is temporarily set up in the Stop and Go Center, located kitty-corner from the Fargodome.

The counseling office should be able to move back into Ceres Hall in May of 2023 and be ready for use at the start of fall semester, Ellingson said.

Huebner is a 35+ year veteran of broadcast and print journalism in Fargo-Moorhead.
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