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MSCTC starts major building project

Minnesota State Community and Technical College is getting a new face. And more room. The Moorhead campus will break ground this summer on a library and classroom building, one of the few bonding projects funded by the Minnesota Legislature this ...

MSCTC librarian
Perry Werner, librarian at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead, discusses Thursday the school's need for an expanded library. He says it can currently seat only 0.5 percent of the student body; traditional guidelines call for 10 percent. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Minnesota State Community and Technical College is getting a new face.

And more room.

The Moorhead campus will break ground this summer on a library and classroom building, one of the few bonding projects funded by the Minnesota Legislature this year.

The $5.4 million project will provide the first real library for the campus that formerly was a technical college.

The two-story addition also includes 10 new classrooms for a nearly 20 percent increase in classroom space.


Those new rooms are desperately needed for the campus of more than 3,000 students that has doubled its enrollment since 2003, the year it expanded its mission.

Officials hope the visible changes will reinforce for the public and future students that the campus often referred to as "Moorhead Tech" is now a community college.

"It cements the transition to a comprehensive community and technical college," said Provost Jerry Migler.

The project is also part of the college's long-range plan to expand to the north and make that side the main entrance.

"It will be a focal point on campus," Migler said.

Construction is anticipated to begin this August with completion set for 2012.

First, MSCTC will demolish a steel building that has housed the refrigeration and air conditioning program, which is moving to a new mechanical trades lab that is being completed this summer.

The campus identified a need for a new library in 1993. It has been housed in areas that were vacated by other departments, not spaces specifically designed to be a library.


Since 2005, the library has occupied about 3,000 square feet that used to house the graphic arts program.

"We've been in two temporary locations for 17 years," said librarian Perry Werner.

A bigger facility is needed to keep up with the growing student body.

"Sometimes you can't even find a spot," said Masi Salah, a nursing major who works in the library.

Serina Hanson, a management, marketing and sales major, said the windowless library doesn't look like what she's seen at other colleges.

"It really wasn't what I imagined," Hanson said.

The new facility will more than double its size and provide group study areas.

"The contrast will be huge," Migler said.


The addition also will significantly change how the college looks from the exterior because it's taller than other facilities.

Signs that say M State will be prominent from the north and south sides.

"A lot of people drive by, and we've had a lot of changes inside the campus, but it doesn't look physically a whole lot different to a lot of people," Migler said.

Also this summer, MSCTC will remodel the Oscar Bergos Auditorium so it can be used for more student activities. About 100 more parking spaces will be added to keep up with the growth.

A year from now, the campus may be adding a student wellness center.

Students gave tentative approval to use their fee dollars toward a new center. MSCTC is seeking approval to use revenue bonds to fund the new facility, a funding mechanism previously only available to state universities.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590


Construction projects set on F-M college campuses

Construction areas will be a common sight at Fargo-Moorhead college campuses this summer. Here's a roundup of some of the major projects:

  • North Dakota State University will continue work on Minard Hall, the site of a partial collapse last winter. The $18 million renovation is being done in phases over multiple years. It's set to be done in 2012.
  • NDSU will complete the Niskanen Apartment complex by mid-August. The three buildings along North University Drive will accommodate up to 400 students.
  • NDSU's West Dining Center renovation, a $7 million project, is on schedule to be finished in mid-August.

  • A $1.1 million expansion of student health services at NDSU's Wallman Wellness Center is slated to be done in July.
  • Phase one of the NDSU Greenhouse Facility on 18th Street North will be complete in about a month. Work on phase two is beginning and expected to take about 16 months. Phases one and two are each estimated to cost more than $11 million.
  • Work is under way at Minnesota State University Moorhead on the second phase of the Lommen Hall renovation, a $15 million project. The east end of the

    75-year-old building, which houses offices and classrooms, is being remodeled. It's expected to be complete in January.

  • MSUM is doing about $4 million of upgrades to its library, including replacing the windows, upgrading elevators and installing a new chiller. A $15 million major renovation of the library was not funded by the Legislature this spring.
  • Concordia College is working on a $5 million upgrade to the Jake Christensen Athletic Complex. The initial phase involves installing FieldTurf on the football field and the baseball infield, adding paved parking spaces and an 11th Street South access, and installing a wireless timing system for the track.

MSCTC librarian
An architect's rendering of the two-story, 26,000-square-foot library and classroom addition at Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Image Courtesy of YHR Partners

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