MSU President's Newspaper Column

November 18, 2023 

Stakeholder input is important as the design process in the renovation of Old Main begins

The project to renovate Mayville State’s Old Main is underway! We are super-excited about the project, and equally grateful to the North Dakota Legislature for providing the $52 million in funding to make it possible. This is reason for all members of the Mayville State University Family to celebrate!

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.

Preliminary work in the renovation project began during this last summer. The firm of Foss Architecture + Interiors was recently hired, and a Construction Manager at Risk will be hired soon.

Now the architects want to hear from Mayville State stakeholders. A very important part of the design process is to gather information from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. All the information gathered will be used as the architects formulate their plans.

A campus input meeting for students, faculty, and staff was held last week and further information was gathered in workshop-style meetings that took place this week. During the workshops, the architects gathered information from smaller groups who discussed specific topics and spaces.

On Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m., there will be an opportunity for alumni, friends, and the community at large to offer their input with the architects. The interactive presentation will take place in the Mayville State Classroom Building Auditorium. A time of socializing will follow the one-hour meeting. This will be a time when those attending can share in one-on-one conversations with the architects.

You’ll find further information about the meeting at This site will also contain a link where those who are out of the area or who are unable to attend the meeting in person can participate virtually in the meeting.

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, and we realize we’ll have to adapt and change as we make our way through this very large project.

While no design plans will begin until the information-gathering phase is complete, the general idea is to repoint the exterior of the building and reinforce the foundation, while maintaining the overall historic look.

The interior of the building will be completely transformed. Highlights will include addressing fire safety concerns, 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.

Your input into this monumental project for Mayville State University is valued and appreciated. I hope you will consider participating in the public input meeting on Nov. 28. To stay up-to-date with the latest progress in the project, go to This site will be updated as we make our way to completion of the project.