Jan 7th, 2014 @ 10:52 am | Author: Dr. Steve Shirley
A few months ago VCSU held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting for the newly renovated and expanded Rhoades Science Center. This beautiful facility serves as a wonderful new teaching and learning asset for those in the VCSU Community, and this project marked a major transformation at Valley City State University. In continuing with the physical transformation across campus, yet another significant project is now underway.
During the 2013 North Dakota Legislative Session, VCSU received an appropriation of nearly $3.5 million to renovate the classroom building that houses Vangstad Auditorium. Foss Architecture & Interiors of Fargo has been selected to oversee the project, and VCSU officials have been working with Foss for several months in finalizing the renovation designs. The design phase is nearing completion, and the project is scheduled to go out for bid to contractors in early February. The timeline will then be to commence with physical renovations later this spring and continue throughout the summer and fall. The majority of the project should be completed near the end of 2014.
This project will encompass a complete renovation to historic Vangstad Auditorium as well as major renovations to the building entrance and two floors of classroom and office space located below the Auditorium. This beautiful building is one of the oldest on campus as it was constructed in 1907 and has been a vital part of VCSU’s history for over a century.
Vangstad Auditorium is a nerve center for the campus and has hosted many important musical and theatrical performances throughout the years. Additionally, the auditorium has featured guest performances, community events, campus gatherings, commencement exercises, lectures and speeches, and other key presentations and university functions. Aside from its aesthetically pleasing and historic qualities, it is essential space for VCSU as it is the largest single facility for campus gatherings (aside from the gymnasium in Osmon Fieldhouse).
The two floors below the Auditorium are also important as those areas provide much-needed space for both classroom and offices. Following the renovation, one of the floors will become the new home for VCSU’s business academic programs, a critical upgrade for both our students and faculty in the business fields. The other floor of newly renovated space will house VCSU’s Learning Center and student academic services (those functions are currently dispersed in multiple locations across campus).
As VCSU enrollment has increased and new academic programs and initiatives have been added in recent years, effective use of this facility becomes even more important to our mission of serving and educating students. This historic building is a wonderful part of the VCSU campus, but it is certainly showing its age. These renovations will provide the necessary repairs and updates ensuring it can be optimally utilized for an extended timeframe. We are excited about proceeding with this major renovation project in 2014!