MSU President's Newspaper Column

August 5, 2023 

Preliminary work on Old Main renovation project underway

We are extremely grateful for the generous and thoughtful support Mayville State University received through the work of the 68th Legislative Assembly. Among other things, their work has provided the funding needed to renovate Mayville State’s historic Old Main.

The renovation of Old Main was a top priority of the State Board of Higher Education going into the legislative session. The 55,000 sq. ft. building houses 83% instructional and academic space on four floors. It was constructed in two phases, in 1890 and 1905. The Old Main renovation project is particularly important for the life safety of our students, faculty and staff.

The behind the scenes work on the project has begun. So that an architect may be hired, a request for qualifications has been issued. During the month of August, architects who are interested in the project will have the opportunity to tour the building and attend a pre-bid overview meeting. There will also be a period of time when prospective architect questions can be addressed.

Bid opening will be on Aug. 30. The top-ranking companies will be invited to make presentations on Sept. 6. On Sept. 7 and 8, the finalists will be ranked and selection of a firm will be made. This will be followed up by issuing notice of the bid award and negotiation of fees.

In October, the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) Request for Proposal will be issued. The CMAR contract will be awarded in November.

Design work and collaboration will begin in December. The design will be finalized and bids issued during the first six months of 2024. We’ll be working on relocation of offices and classrooms during the months of April, May, and June. Construction is scheduled for July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2026, with projected occupancy at July 1, 2026. This is our proposed schedule for reaching goals, but we realize we’ll have to adapt and change as we make our through this very large project.

The Mayville State Old Main renovation project will be funded in two phases. The sum of $17,330,087, or so much of the sum as may be necessary, was awarded for Phase 1 of the project during the biennium beginning July 1, 2023 and ending June 30, 2025, and continuing into the biennium beginning July 1, 2025 and ending June 30, 2027. The legislature authorized the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education to borrow the sum of $34,924,814, or so much of the sum as may be necessary, from the Bank of North Dakota for completion of Phase 2 of the project. The State Board of Higher Education will then seek funding from the 69th Legislative Assembly to repay the line of credit that was authorized.

The exterior of the building will be repointed and the foundation will be reinforced, sealing the building envelope while maintaining the historic look.

The interior of the building will be completely transformed. Highlights of the project will include reconfiguring the interior stairway access to the building 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, and universal design for enhanced access will be incorporated, bringing the university up to speed as the technological and other advancements 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.

While the road to getting this project to completion will have some bumps and unexpected turns, we will keep our eyes on the ultimate goal and what we know will be a wonderful new facility. Our historic campus footprint will be maintained while providing modern and safe amenities in a building where students, faculty, staff and study, learn, and do their important work. We couldn’t be more excited!