MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

July 15, 2017

Summer is a busy time for facilities work


While we don’t have any new construction happening on campus this summer, there are a number of projects underway, ranging from a ventilation project at Agassiz Hall to landscaping work at the recently completed Health, Physical Education, and Recreation facility. Work is being completed by contractors as well as our own staff.

You may recall that Agassiz Hall was recently renovated to provide suite- and apartment-style living arrangements for students. There have been some air pressure issues in the building, and contractors are now working to provide a sufficient ventilation system. Work on the $800,000 project is about half done. The final stages of the project will include air testing, sheet rocking, painting, and cleaning of carpets.

Another of our three student residence halls, Birkelo Hall, is being updated and modernized by our MSU Physical Plant crew. The new and improved facility will re-open this fall as a living and learning community that will encourage high-achieving first-year students to become a part of the Mayville State family. Rent for students accepted into Birkelo Hall will be half-price.

Physical Plant staff Tom Moen, Kevin Hanson, Shari Kowalski, and Deldrick Smith, along with student employees Cameron Ladue, Joelle Ertl, Cale Hooper, and Taylor Skjordal, are making up a great team. They are plastering and texturing the cinder block walls in the rooms and then applying new paint for a fresh and modern look. Before fall semester, new furniture will be added in each room.

This project includes the second and third floors of the building. (The first floor is occupied by the offices of the MSU Child Development Programs.) For now, the bathrooms and shower facilities will be cleaned up, with hopes of re-doing them next year. The project is about 90% complete and clean-up on the third floor is underway.

Have you taken a trip around the campus lately? The grounds are looking beautiful! Thanks to Jamie Eriksson and her student employees, Marc Eastman and Eric Shade. When you’re on campus, be sure to check out the Military Honor Garden, located on the south lawn at the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center. The whole area is a gorgeous and fitting tribute to our veterans. The new flower pots that were donated in memory of Phyllis Enger and by the May-Port EDC are amazing! It’s worth a trip.

In other landscape-related work, local contractors Kent Paulson and David Groven have worked on a project to remove old soil and replace it with new around the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation facilities. This landscaping work will provide the finishing touches on our newest campus construction project.

The coal-powered heating plant is also experiencing some general maintenance and routine repairs. The facility was built in 2009 and has saved the university hundreds of thousands of dollars in heating costs for the campus.

Another campus project this summer is taking place at the Byrnes-Quanbeck Library. Starting this week, the Information Technology Services department will be moved to the lower level of the facility. As more information becomes available in electronic formats, libraries have evolved to best meet the needs of their patrons. As more library services are provided online, the line between questions best answered by ITS versus the library has grown fuzzy. Having the two offices in the same building will provide greater customer service to all MSU students, faculty, and staff and community patrons. This partnership has a strong foundation as the library and ITS have shared the responsibility of interactive video classrooms for more than a decade.

We’re making the most of every minute this summer so that we can provide the best possible place in which our students can live and learn when they arrive on campus next fall. I extend my sincere gratitude to all the Mayville State employees who are going above and beyond to make these things happen. Please come visit us at any time. We’d love for you to see all the great things that are happening.