UND renovates its Education BuildingThe University of North Dakota broke ground Friday on an $11.2 million addition and renovation of the Education Building, its most important building project in years.
By: By Tu-Uyen Tran , Forum Communications Co. , The Jamestown Sun
GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota broke ground Friday on an $11.2 million addition and renovation of the Education Building, its most important building project in years.
The 57-year-old building has been at the top of the university’s list of priority projects because of the deterioration brought on by age.
UND President Robert Kelley told of the first tour he got of the building when he became president. Dan Rice, dean of the college of education, took him into the men’s room to show him the hole where a toilet had been, plugged up with concrete.
The reason: The cast iron pipes were leaking, but, because they’re in the concrete floor, they couldn’t be repaired very easily or cheaply.
That’s not the only thing wrong with the building, either. According to Rice, the windows leak and the air handling system is inefficient.
The renovation and the addition connecting Education with Gillette Hall to the north will, besides taking care of such problems, add about 15,000 square feet of space, 12 new class rooms and two lecture halls. In addition, it’ll make Education the greenest building on campus with features that cut down on energy and water use, among other things.
Rice said the classrooms will also be updated to meet the needs of distance learning and of nontraditional students. Both are growing in importance for the university.
The project is scheduled to be completed in time for the fall semester in 2011. In the meantime, administrative staff and student advisors have relocated to Upson Hall II down the road and faculty have moved to Dakota Hall, a former residence hall off campus on North 43rd Street.
In recognition of where the funding comes from, the groundbreaking ceremony included Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, some state lawmakers and representatives from the state’s congressional delegation. The governor and many officials invited could not make it because they were attending services for former Gov. Art Link in Bismarck.
The $11.2 million is a grant from the state, which got the money as part of its share of the economic stimulus package Congress passed.
UND will have to raise another $1.4 million for furnishings and technology upgrades that aren’t eligible for stimulus funding, according to Rick Tonder, associate director for facilities and planning. For a building that size, he said, furnishings would only cost about $700,000 to $800,000 and the rest is for new computers and other accessories.
He said he can’t recall the last time UND embarked on such a major academic building project.
Dalrymple said as much when he said there’ve been lots of arenas, concert halls and student centers in state universities and he’s glad this project is for educating students.
There are two kinds of education at work in the Education Building.
The first is students actually in the college, which, according to Rice, has one of the largest enrollments of any college on campus and has the largest number of graduate students.
The second is what Kelley has called teaching the community by example about green technology.
For the education of education majors, the building would have more classroom space for traditional students and be more accommodating to nontraditional students. According to Rice, technology upgrades will better deliver the classroom experience to the desktops of distance learners and some classrooms will be set up for the kind of all-day seminars that students who have regular jobs attend on the weekends.
Plastic chairs are OK for 18-year-olds in shorter classes, Rice said, but older students enduring long classes will need more ergonomic seating.
For the green education part, the Education Building will be packing enough features to qualify for the silver level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification.
Jim Galloway, the “G” in JLG Architects, said there may be enough features to get to gold, the second highest level.
Some of the features are simply a function of the building’s location: It’s near bus stops and is within walking distance of central parking areas.
Other features increase efficiency, such as low-flush toilets that use less water, better grades of insulation than building standards require, sensors that turn off lights in rooms that are unoccupied and windows that don’t let in as much heat in the summer. According to JLG, the Education Building will use 24 percent less energy than a comparable building of its size and type.
Galloway said designers are mulling the use of solar panels to further offset energy use.
The building would also make use of recycled material, such as steel, carpets, ceiling tiles and some components from the existing building, such as bricks, that would otherwise be demolished.
Tu-Uyen Tran is a reporter at the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, which is owned by
Forum Communications Co.