MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

May 17, 2014 

Construction work will begin Monday, May 19


Mayville State’s two major capital projects totaling $7.7 million dollars will become very visible as the projects get underway following graduation this weekend. There will be some inconveniences during the construction process, but we encourage you to be patient. The long-term benefits will be tremendous. 

The campus-wide drainage project will provide a great improvement to Stan Dakken Drive and adjacent parking on the east side of campus. The $2.2 million dollar project will move storm water from the buildings and sidewalks to a lift station located south of Jerome Berg Field. The water will eventually flow into the city drainage ditch on the east end of town. Moore Engineering, West Fargo, N.D., designed the project, and Naastad Brothers, Inc., Hatton, N.D., is the successful bidder for project construction.

In addition to moving the water away from the campus, the project will involve a realignment of Stan Dakken Drive. The road will be moved 50 feet to the east, which will create parking on the west side of the street adjacent to campus buildings including the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse, Classroom Building, and Campus Center. The athletic complex parking lot will also be tiled and paved. The first phase of the construction project will be to remove and salvage the roadway and parking lot materials to be reused later. 

The project will be on a fast track beginning Monday, May 19, with substantial completion planned for about the time classes begin this fall. Stan Dakken Drive on the east side of campus will be closed to traffic during construction.    

The HPER facilities improvement project (Old Gym replacement) will replicate and expand the functional areas of the Old Gym and provide additional lab/practice space, classrooms, and offices to accommodate the growing programs of the Division of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER). JLG Architects, Fargo, N.D., designed the facilities, and PCL, Burnsville, Minn., is the construction management company that will oversee the project which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015.

The $5.5 million dollar project will also get underway following graduation, and includes the demolition of the 1929 Old Gym, which is in poor condition and a safety concern; and construction of classrooms in the space south of the existing racquetball courts. New offices will be added on the east side of the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse and Wellness Center, and a new fitness and wellness laboratory building will connect to the south end of the current Wellness Center.

The east entrance to the Wellness Center will be shut down beginning the week of May 19, as construction crews will begin to set up their staging area and equipment. The temporary main entrance will be the door located on the west side of the building. This door has historically been locked, but it will need to be the main entrance to the facility during construction.

The new gym that will be replacing the current Wellness Center gym is scheduled for completion by May of 2015. Since the Old Gym served as the university’s weight room, and that facility will be demolished, the weight room will be temporarily moved to the Wellness Center gym. The weight room is available for use by Wellness Center patrons. The smaller weight room, cardio equipment, and aerobics room inside the Wellness Center will be accessible throughout construction. The racquetball courts will not be available for use during the project. This space will be used to store physical education equipment, along with some office furniture.

If you are familiar with campus, you realize that the two projects are both on the east side of campus adjacent to Stan Dakken Drive, and it will be important to have good communication and coordination between contractors and the campus to ensure a safe environment for our employees, guests, and the construction workers during a busy summer with many campus activities planned. Since the road to the east of the Wellness Center will be blocked off, and parking to the south of the Wellness Center will be removed, we suggest that patrons would use the lot across from Old Main for parking. A designated handicap parking space will be located in a place to be determined on the west wide of the Wellness Center.

We will do our best to provide helpful information about traveling around and through campus. There will be temporary inconveniences to all of us, but the construction activity will provide needed improvements that will be enjoyed for years to come.