Construction projects progressing full speed ahead, many on track for late summer and fall completion


Brian Johnson

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Construction projects progressing full speed ahead, many on track for late summer and fall completion

As incoming University of North Dakota students move into their dorm rooms for the fall semester, several faculty and staff will be moving furniture, boxes and bobble heads into their new work spaces.

Until then, construction crews work around the clock to build new facilities that will benefit the entire campus community.

Changes at ‘Wilkie’

The major renovation at the center of campus continues at the student-centered Wilkerson Hall. According to Dining Services Director Orlynn Rosaasen, “Wilke” as it is affectionately known, is quickly progressing and is set for completion this fall.

To complete the next step in construction, dining services will transition from Wilkerson to the most comfortable location available – the lower level of Smith Hall. The change is set for March, the beginning of spring break, Friday the 13th.

Smith Hall has successfully been used as a temporary dining location in the past, and presented the best option for uninterrupted service. It will open Monday, March 23, and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday – Friday until the end of spring semester. Smith Hall will be open 7-10 a.m. for continental breakfast, 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. for lunch, and 4:30-8 p.m. for dinner. Weekend meals will continue to be served in the Squires Hall Dining Center. Squires and Terrace Dining Center will maintain regular hours throughout spring semester.

Tunnels connecting McVey, Brannon and West Halls will remain open, in addition to the tunnel connecting Noren and Selke Halls. But the tunnels leading to Wilkerson will close March 13.

More information on Wilkerson Dining Center will be provided at dining.UND.edu as it becomes available.

Law School project

The UND School of Law School addition and renovation is also moving along at a steady pace and continues to be on schedule to open for the 2015 Fall Semester.

“We are excited to see the progress being made on the law building project both with the addition and in the renovation of the existing building,” said Law School Dean Kathryn Rand. “Construction Engineers has done a great job managing the project and keeping it on time and on budget.”

Recent work on the project includes near completion of the exterior framing, roof and exterior shell. The next step is to begin brickwork on the exterior walls of the addition. Work inside the new addition is also underway with pouring floors and framing the rooms. Much of the renovation work in the existing law building and law library has been completed and waiting for final finishes.

“We regularly update our building project website with new photos of the activity inside and outside the building, so I encourage anyone interested to follow along with our progress at law.UND.edu/build,” said Rand.

School of Medicine & Health Sciences update

Construction continues on the 325,000-square-foot School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) building that is located on the corner of North Columbia Road and Gateway Drive.

"We're on schedule and on budget," said SMHS Dean and UND Vice President for Health Affairs Joshua Wynne. "We plan to finish construction in the summer of 2016 in time for the basic sciences, health sciences, and medical student classes to begin their studies for the 2016-2017 academic year."

The facility will include units on the current Grand Forks campus, including Occupational Therapy and Sports Medicine (located in the Hyslop Sports Center), and all students will have 24/7 access to the building. More detailed construction updates, as well as a live web cam, are available at med.UND.edu/construction.

This project was made possible thanks to a $123.75 million appropriation ? spread over two biennia ? from the 2013 North Dakota Legislature.

High Performance Center

Also along Columbia – just east of Memorial Stadium – work continues on the privately funded Athletics High Performance Center. The massive 154,000-square-foot complex should be online sometime in late summer.

In recent days, crews have been able to largely enclose the structure and begin work on some finishing touches to the external shell.

“Obviously all the indoor work that has to be done is temperature driven, so they want to get this thing closed up,” said UND Athletics Director Brian Faison in a special video produced by the Athletic Department.

The facility, which will be available to University athletes and community members, will allow teams and student-athletes to train year-round. It will also provide a better training ground for the track and field teams.

“The track surface will be one of the elite track surfaces in the country,” said Faison. “The only other track surface like it right now will be at the 2016 Olympics. That says a lot.”

Brian Johnson University & Public Affairs writer

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