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Work begins to transform McCarthy Hall into the future VCSU School of Education

Jul 1, 2024

A group of VCSU faculty, staff and community members at the groundbreaking event.

VCSU leaders, faculty, staff and community members mark the occasion with official groundbreaking event

Valley City, ND – Valley City State University (VCSU) hosted a groundbreaking event this morning outside of McCarthy Hall to officially mark the start of transformational work on the historic building.

McCarthy Hall will become the new home for VCSU’s nationally-recognized School of Education School of Education and Technology and STEM Education. VCSU faculty, community members and leaders in education attended the event. Work began today on the building and the space is anticipated to be ready for students by the fall of 2025.

“I’m happy that we’re able to preserve this historic facility and renovate it to its grandeur. This will modernize McCarthy Hall to serve as the destination school of education for our state and region for the next 50 years. This will have an incredible positive impact for our community, the teacher workforce in North Dakota, and for the incredible cutting-edge educational experiences that our faculty will provide to students,” President Alan LaFave said during the event.

Valley City Mayor Dave Carlsrud said “VCSU and the Valley City Public School System are important components of the community, and VCSU is the “face of education in North Dakota.” “We have something over 1,500 alumni represented serving schools throughout North Dakota, and (VCSU) graduates more people in education than any other school in the state,” Carlsrud said. “That’s significant and you can be proud of that.”

“K-12 education and higher education are facing an unprecedented shortage of teachers across the state of North Dakota,” Valley City Public School System Superintendent Josh Johnson said. “Valley City State has been at the forefront of helping to address this issue. I think this project speaks again to that effort and will further help address the crisis that we are facing. Thank you President LaFave, Dr. Burgad and all the faculty and staff of VCSU for your leadership in education in North Dakota.”

“The modernized renovations of McCarthy Hall will extend 21st-century learning opportunities for current and future educators,” Dean of the VCSU School of Education Allen Burgad said. “We are very excited about the state of our technology literacy and STEM classrooms along with the new Children’s Literacy Lab. These learning centers will provide tremendous learning opportunities and prepare our next generation of educators.”

McCarthy Hall was built in the early 1930s and was used as a training school for prospective teachers attending VCSU. When the training school was closed, the building housed a wide variety of VCSU courses including technology education, art and psychology. The renovation of McCarthy Hall is a part of the first-ever capital campaign project at VCSU.

The $13.5 million project is made possible through the generous support of donors, VCSU funds and $11.5 million allocated by the North Dakota Legislature and approved by Gov. Doug Burgum.

For more information about the groundbreaking event, McCarthy Hall or to schedule an interview please contact Tammy Jo A. Taft, director of marketing and communication, by emailing or calling (701) 845-7227.

Audio recordings of remarks from the groundbreaking event:

Photo of McCarthy Hall at present:

A picture of McCarthy Hall when it was first built along with a rendering of the future version of the Hall.

McCarthy Hall renderings: