Author Topic: NDSU Buys Two Buildings Downtown  (Read 1605 times)

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Offline pmp6nl

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NDSU Buys Two Buildings Downtown
« on: September 21, 2006, 10:51:55 pm »
By Amy Dalrymple, The Forum

North Dakota State University is adding to its downtown campus with the purchase of two buildings.

The NDSU Development Foundation bought the former Pioneer Mutual Life and Lincoln Mutual buildings from Noridian for $3.54 million, university spokesman Dave Wahlberg said Monday.

The Lincoln Mutual building, 711 2nd Ave. N., will house design studio space and faculty offices for the architecture and landscape architecture departments.

NDSU officials are studying options for the Pioneer Mutual Life building, 203 10th St. N., including renovation and expansion to accommodate the College of Business, Wahlberg said.

In August 2004, NDSU opened its first downtown facility in the Northern School Supply building at 650 NP Ave. for the art and architecture departments. That building was donated to the university by NDSU alum Doug Burgum.

?It?s really been a success for NDSU,? Wahlberg said of NDSU Downtown. ?Since then, we?ve been looking to expand our downtown campus, and these two buildings will be a great addition.?

Jason Wohlman, associate executive director of the NDSU Development Foundation, said both buildings are in excellent condition and have substantial parking space.

While the buildings were owned by Noridian, there was considerable work done to bring them up to building codes, said Larry Gauper, Noridian?s vice president for corporate communications.

Both buildings would be renovated, though a timeline for the projects has not been established, Wahlberg said.

From their experience with the other downtown building, NDSU officials have learned that ?if you start with a good building ? a good structure to begin with ? the buildings can be adapted very nicely to the needs of the university,? Wahlberg said.

The downtown purchase could change initial plans to build a new College of Business on the west side of NDSU?s main campus on 18th Street North, Wahlberg said.

As part of the $75 million Momentum campaign, the NDSU Development Foundation is trying to raise $13 million for a Center of Business building. Nearly $11 million has been raised toward that goal, Wohlman said.

Locating the College of Business in the six-story Pioneer Life building is one option being explored, Wahlberg said.

?We?re still looking at that,? Wahlberg said. ?No plans have been finalized.?

The Development Foundation did not use funds from the Momentum campaign to buy the buildings, Wohlman said.

Paul Gleye, chairman of NDSU?s architecture department, said the two-story Lincoln building is well suited to house design studio space because the floors are largely open.

The addition of that building will bring all architecture and landscape architecture faculty downtown. Right now they?re split half and half between the main campus and downtown, Gleye said, which can make scheduling meetings challenging.

?There was some hope we might find a way to all be together again,? Gleye said. ?This brings us all within three blocks of each other.?

Faculty and students have enjoyed the downtown campus and use the bus a lot to get back and forth, he said.

?Downtown Fargo is becoming such a wonderful place that people love to be down there,? Gleye said.

A shuttle route connecting the main campus to downtown Fargo would expand to include the new buildings, Wahlberg said.

Dante Miller, NDSU?s student body president, said he thinks students would be happy with the expanded downtown campus as long as there is adequate parking and transportation.

Noridian acquired the Lincoln Mutual building in 1989 when Lincoln Mutual became an affiliated company, Gauper said. Employees were later moved to Noridian?s headquarters on 45th Street and the company no longer needed the downtown building.

Noridian acquired the Pioneer Mutual building in 1991. In 2001, Noridian was no longer affiliated with Pioneer Mutual, and the building was put on the market a short time later, Gauper said.

The trust and investment division of State Bank & Trust is a tenant in the Pioneer Mutual building, Gauper said. It was not immediately known what would happen to that arrangement, Wahlberg said.

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

http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=140225&section=News

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The expansion sounds great to me.  I am always up for expansion, especially when it is sorely needed at NDSU.  I do have one complain however, they really need to do some work on some of the current buildings and a lot of the parking lots are just sad.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2006, 10:54:02 pm by pmp6nl »
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Offline northdakotastate

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Re: NDSU Buys Two Buildings Downtown
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2006, 04:16:46 pm »
I think that is nice that NDSU is moving more stuff downtown, it will really help with the whole revitalization going on down there.  Also, NDSU really needs the space, everything is pretty jam packed now as it is. 

I heard of them talking about moving the business college down there, I am not sure about that idea.  Maybe if they only had their 300 and 400 level classes down there then travel wouldn't be as big of an issue.  They could also just have classes on MWF or TTH down there?

Offline bisonguy

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Re: NDSU Buys Two Buildings Downtown
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2006, 01:33:05 pm »
I have taken some classes downtown and they can really do some interesting things with old buildings, lets see them do it again.

Offline pmp6nl

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NDSU to Move College of Business Downtown
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2006, 05:04:34 pm »
North Dakota State University?s downtown presence will grow from 400 students to 4,000 by the fall of 2008 under plans unveiled Thursday.

President Joseph Chapman announced renovation plans for the two downtown buildings the NDSU Development Foundation has acquired ? the Pioneer Mutual Life and Lincoln Mutual Life buildings.

The Pioneer building will be expanded to twice its size and house the College of Business and the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.

The Development Foundation had been raising money to build a new College of Business on the west side of the main campus.

But locating the College of Business downtown will cost $3.5 million less and provide 11,000 more square feet than the original plans, Chapman said.

?It allowed our business and agribusiness students to be in the heart of real world business activity,? Chapman said during his annual state of the university address.

In addition to remodeling the six-story Pioneer building, NDSU will add an education wing with classrooms and offices, an atrium area and a two-story auditorium.

The project is estimated to cost $13.5 million to $14.5 million, said Jim Miller, executive director of the Development Foundation.

Architect Terry Stroh said work could begin this spring on the 12- to 14-month project.

The two-story Lincoln building will be remodeled to house studio space for architecture and landscape architecture students. That project is estimated to cost $1.5 million to$2 million, Miller said.

Plans also include a large amount of green space and walkways between the buildings to create more of a campus environment.

Fargo officials said they?re excited about NDSU?s plans.

?This is absolutely going to be another jewel in our crown to bring downtown back to Fargo,? said Mayor Dennis Walaker.

In August 2004, NDSU opened its first downtown facility in the Northern School Supply building at 650 NP Ave. for visual arts, architecture and landscape architecture departments. That building was donated to the university by NDSU alumnus Doug Burgum.

The Development Foundation bought the two Pioneer and Lincoln buildings from Noridian for $3.54 million.

?These buildings are rock solid,? Stroh said.

Constructing a new College of Business was identified as a priority when the Development Foundation launched its $75 million Momentum fundraising campaign, Chapman said.

Initial plans called for the building to be constructed on 18th Street North.

But the cost estimate for that project escalated to nearly$18 million, rather than the $13 million originally projected, Miller said.

Moving the project downtown offered more space, better amenities and a cost savings, Chapman said.

The Development Foundation consulted with major donors who contributed$11 million toward the College of Business, and they supported the downtown concept, Miller said.

?They felt it was the proper thing to do,? Miller said.

The university is proposing to close a one-block section of a street to create more green space and make it safer for students to walk between the two buildings.

The street is between Second and Third avenues where Eighth and Ninth streets converge into one street, Stroh said.

Fargo Planning Director Jim Gilmour said he?s reviewed the plans, and it would not have an impact on traffic.

NDSU senior Adam Riesen said he?d prefer to see the Agribusiness and Applied Economics Department stay on the main campus.

Unlike the current downtown building ? which houses students who may spend the bulk of a day working in art studios ? the Pioneer building will be full of students who may travel there for just one or two classes, Riesen said.

Catching professors during office hours and getting to class on time could become a hassle, said Riesen, an ag systems management major.

NDSU is working to get additional bus transportation to and from the downtown campus.

Downtown classes are scheduled on the half-hour, while classes on the main campus start on the hour, to accommodate extra travel time for students.

Building details

- Pioneer Mutual Life Building, 203 10th St. N.: Existing six-story building has 60,000 square feet; an addition will add 55,000 square feet with an education wing and two-story auditorium

- Lincoln Mutual Building, 711 2nd Ave. N.: About 25,000 square feet in the two-story building, which is designed to accommodate another story if NDSU wanted to expand

- NDSU?s purchase includes about 165 parking spaces for faculty and staff, including a lot west of 10th Street

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

http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=142633
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