UND is celebrating milestone construction events for Aerospace and the School of Law during Homecoming


David L. Dodds

Document Type


Publication Date



UND is celebrating milestone construction events for Aerospace and the School of Law during Homecoming

The University of North Dakota is marking this year's Homecoming celebration with two big building milestones.

On Thursday, the UND Aerospace Foundation and the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences broke ground on a much-needed UAS/aerospace research facility that will go a long way in serving the growing needs of the school's unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) enterprise as well as other aerospace related research activities.

Architectural renderings of the new UAS/aerospace building, which will be named "Robin Hall" after lead donors Mary E. Bazar and Si Robin, call for a highly prominent structure with a central glass tower rising from the western part of UND's campus. It will be adjacent to the existing Ryan Hall, across 42nd Street North, and be connected via skywalk to UND Aerospace's Clifford and Halls.

Also, during Homecoming, UND is observing the progress on the renovation and expansion of the UND School of Law. On Friday, a "brick-laying" celebration, signifying the next phase of construction on a project that has been ongoing for much of the year.

The expansion of the Law School will help it meet the needs of its students, and at the same time, will contribute to the continued excellence in legal education for decades to come at North Dakota's law school.

The proposed 66,000-square-foot UAS/aerospace research facility is being funded largely by private donations and $1.5 million in matches from the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education Challenge Fund. The state authorized UND to spend up to $25 million on the project. It will be built and managed by the UND Aerospace Foundation, private-sector support arm of UND Aerospace. The building's lead benefactors, Mary E. Bazar and Si Robin, are president and vice president, respectively, of Sensor Systems, a California-based manufacturer of aerospace antenna.

UND Aerospace's Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which will be a major tenant of the new research building, was the first collegiate degree program of its kind in the nation and is rapidly growing into the largest and most widely recognized program in the world. The latest UND Aerospace campus building, Clifford Hall, was built in 1991, and the school is literally bursting at the seams. With all of the advancements that are taking place in aerospace studies, the school is in need of a new campus building to sustain that growth and success.

As for the law school project, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and the 2013 North Dakota State Legislature made a commitment to the legal future of North Dakota by appropriating $11.4 million for the new addition and renovation. The building project is under way and progressing quickly as it moves toward a fall 2015 opening. The only other major renovation to the Law School that has been made was addition of the Law Library, which took place more than 40 years ago.

Plans for the building include a renovated legal clinic, additional classrooms, meeting and seminar rooms, and the addition of a modern teaching courtroom that complements the more traditional, ceremonial Baker Courtroom. The Law Library also will be renovated to add student study and work spaces, with an emphasis on service rather than shelving, and the entire building will have more student gathering and study spaces.

The new aerospace and law buildings are two of several construction projects that are planned or ongoing on the UND campus. There others include a new headquarters for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, a high-performance indoor athletic practice facility, and a renovation to Wilkerson Hall, a central meeting and dining facility for UND students. All told, more than $180 million in public and privately funded building projects are currently under way or planned for campus.

David Dodds University & Public Affairs writer

This document is currently not available here.