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