About 100 North Dakota State University faculty members toured the construction areas of Minard Hall Feb. 4 and saw the interior of the building for the first time since the collapse of the northwest corner about one year ago. Personnel from JLG Architects, Fargo, the design firm working on the project, led groups through the building and answered questions.
Faculty walked through dry-walled office spaces, reception areas and framed hallways during their four-floor tour of parts of the 1918 and 1929 sections of Minard, towards the north end of the building. One of the highlights of the tour was the second floor lecture space, formerly classroom 219. The classroom features tiered seating and large exterior windows that saturate the space with light.
Lee Dobrinz with JLG said the firm decided to give tours of Minard to displaced faculty because so much work is going on that cannot be seen. â€œThese tours were important in helping people understand the process and see their future homes,â€ said Dobrinz. â€œWe also want to build up some excitement about it so people get excited about seeing where their new home is going to be. Dobrinz said the Department of Modern Languages is expected to move into its permanent third floor space during the summer months.
Amy Oâ€™Connor, associate professor of communication, said the tour was helpful. â€œIt was great because we got to see what progress was being made behind closed doors,â€ she said.
Minardâ€™s north addition project, which has been stalled since the collapse of the northwest corner, is being redesigned without a basement mechanical room. The equipment will now be housed on a fifth floor. Below the surface of the northwest corner, deep foundations have been placed in preparation for the new addition.
The northwest section of Minard Hall collapsed during the early morning hours of Dec. 27, 2009. No one was in the building at the time.
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