NDSU plans $10 million renovation of 86-year-old dorm
FARGO - North Dakota State University is poised to begin its biggest dorm renovation to date: a $10 million update of the oldest residence hall on campus.
FARGO – North Dakota State University is poised to begin its biggest dorm renovation to date: a $10 million update of the oldest residence hall on campus.
"It's a project quite honestly that has been discussed basically as long as I've worked here," said Residence Life Director Rian Nostrum, who's been at NDSU for 18 years.
Churchill Hall, built in 1930, lacks accessibility and central ventilation, meaning the three-story men's dorm is "either really, really hot or really, really cold," Nostrum said.
And since the late '90s, the basement has been unusable for bedrooms because it doesn't meet today's construction standards.
Nostrum's department has been saving revenue for about five years to update Churchill, located just west of University Drive and Centennial Boulevard, without taking out a bond.
"Our goal is to be able to pay cash, if you will," said Nostrum, whose department does not receive state appropriations. Now, they're ready to do that.
The renovation is tentatively set to begin in January 2017, meaning the dorm would be closed that spring semester and open again in fall 2017.
"The inside will be completely rebuilt: all new mechanical systems, electrical systems, walls, Sheetrock, flooring," said Nostrum, who added that his department has never done "this significant of a renovation."
The renovation will also add an elevator and possibly garden-level bedrooms, though Nostrum doesn't anticipate Churchill will return to the 230 beds it had before the '90s. The dorm now houses 198 students, and that might increase to 210, he said.
The new interior won't be male-specific, so Churchill might become co-ed or all-female as future enrollment needs dictate, Nostrum said.
In recent years, NDSU has replaced Churchill's windows and roof, and the exterior will remain.
"I don't want this building to look like it's a brand-new building," Nostrum said. "I want it to look like a renovated, new, historic building."
NDSU is finalizing the project design and costs with Foss Architecture and Mortenson Construction. Officials plan to seek the State Board of Higher Education's approval at the board's meeting in March.