MSU President's Newspaper Column

December 17, 2022 

Grateful for support for Old Main renovation project in governor’s executive budget proposal

We are extremely grateful for Governor Burgum’s support for Mayville State’s proposed Old Main renovation project. The governor included a line item of $3,779,100 in funding for planning and design for the project in his proposed executive budget for the 2023-25 biennium. The Old Main renovation capital project is a high priority for Mayville State and a sound investment for the state of North Dakota.

Old Main is a major facility on the Mayville State University campus. The 55,000 sq. ft. building houses 83% instructional and academic space on four floors. The building was constructed in two phases, in 1890 and 1905. Renovation of the building is an important life safety priority.

It’s fair to say that all or nearly all students who study on campus will take a course or courses in Old Main. Two academic divisions, business and liberal arts, are located in the building, as is instructional space for the Dakota Nursing Program. The Old Main Theatre is located on the west half of the second floor.

The renovation project is particularly important for the life safety of our students, faculty and staff. The interior stairway access to the building will be reconfigured to address fire safety concerns. Other proposed work includes replacing fire alarms, and adding an emergency notification system and a new or enhanced automatic fire suppression system. Electrical power and lighting systems will be gutted and replaced, as will HVAC and plumbing systems. ADA compliance will be addressed as well. The renovation will address the most significant deferred maintenance on the Mayville State campus.

New technology, data, communication systems, and infrastructure will be installed to bring the university up to speed as the technological advances evolve in a changing world.

Mayville State University is an important partner for workforce development in the state of North Dakota. We are committed to growing the impact we can have for North Dakota, and the improved instructional space will be a major factor in helping us to make that happen.

Since our establishment in 1889, educating future teachers has been a very important mission and has made a major impact for our area and state, resulting in a reputation for excellence. One can find Mayville State graduates teaching in nearly every county in North Dakota. Mayville State-educated teachers are highly regarded and sought-after.

While our commitment to educating future teachers has not changed, over the years, programs that educate business and nursing professionals, scientists, and others have been added. There is a track record of success with Mayville State graduates in all programs. The personal service students experience, and the leadership opportunities made possible on a small campus with a family atmosphere, combine with the quality instructional base at MSU to form a wonderful package that makes our graduates valued and appreciated in the workforce.

Governor Burgum’s support for the Old Main renovation project is a major first step in seeing the proposed $49,970,100 project to fruition. I sincerely appreciate this support, and I look forward to continuing to work with our local District 20 legislators, Jared Hagert, Randy Lemm, and Mike Beltz, along with legislators from across the state, to help secure the needed one-time funding needed to make it happen. These hard-working public servants have already invested a great deal of time and effort into the project, and I am thankful beyond words for their support that not only benefits the local communities, but also the region and state.

The future is bright at Mayville State University. Our commitment to serving the state of North Dakota by educating highly qualified and effective professionals who can join the workforce and continue the legacy of success for our great state is the priority, a goal which is of utmost importance.