MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

April 18, 2015

HPER facility replacement project will begin this month


We’re thrilled that we’re now ready to move ahead with our state-funded HPER facility replacement project! The project involves replacement of the 1929 Old Gymnasium and expansion of classroom and lab/practice space for Sports Management, Fitness and Wellness, Health Education, and Physical Education majors.

You may recall that the design and subsequent bids for the project received earlier in 2014 were not feasible. Construction demand in western North Dakota also affected construction activity in our area, and resulted in less construction company interest and higher bids for our project. 

It was apparent the project would need to be redesigned with a focus on our most critical needs. The architectural firm worked with our construction management firm and campus constituents and reduced the proposed building by 10,000 sq. ft. to reflect recent construction pricing and bidding results.

The strategy was successful. Construction bids were favorable, and we now have a project!

The project consists of three building additions totaling approximately 17,000 sq. ft. and includes new classrooms to be built in the footprint of the Old Gymnasium, which will be razed in June of 2015. This building addition will be located south to the racquetball courts and along the west wall of the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse.

Attached to the east side of the Lewy Lee will be two building additions, a Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Division and Athletics office complex to house faculty and athletic administration and coaches. This will be located north of the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse main entrance. A weight room and high performance lab will be located just south of the Fieldhouse main entrance. 

On March 26, 2015 the State Board of Higher Education approved my request to make available $244,484 that was set aside in contingency pool dollars. This will increase the project total funding to $5,754,484. The contingency funds will enhance the functionality of the project by adding a health and wellness training lab, classroom sound system enhancements, fitness and weight room protective flooring, and additional classroom and office furniture and equipment.

PCL Construction Services, Inc., Burnsville, Minn., has been hired as the project construction manager. They will have people on site and coordinate all construction activities, including hiring of all contractors.

The safety of our students, employees, campus visitors, and construction employees is of the highest priority. Construction staging and work areas will be fenced off in the next two weeks, and access to the construction areas will be limited to ensure the safety of all concerned. There will be limited construction prior to graduation on May 16, with significant activity beginning after graduation and continuing until April of 2016, when the project is scheduled to be completed.

Don’t let the construction project keep you from visiting campus this summer. Please keep the many activities planned for this summer, including camps, Alumni Day festivities, and summer school classes, on your calendar. We will do our best to keep you informed and safe, and limit your inconvenience during the construction season.