Aug 8th, 2011 @ 2:08 pm | Author: Dr. Steve Shirley
As the summer concludes and Valley City State University prepares to welcome students back for the start of the 2011-12 academic year, I would like to share a small sampling of the many activities that have occurred throughout the past three months.

It was another busy Summer Semester with a total of 551 graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in summer classes. These figures represent a 6% increase over Summer 2010 enrollment, and are a direct reflection of the overall growth in the University. Students and faculty alike do indeed keep busy throughout the summer months with their teaching and learning endeavors. Heading toward the fall and preparing for another strong incoming freshmen class in 2011, we have also hosted several New Student Registration sessions for students and parents this summer.

Certainly a high-profile project on the campus this summer has been the installation of the new artificial turf on Shelly Ellig Field at Lokken Stadium. This project is nearing completion, and the contractor, CG & B Enterprises, has done a wonderful job in keeping on-schedule despite the sometimes challenging weather conditions. However, this is not the only major construction project that has occurred. Work is in the final stages of the $3.5 million renovation of Snoeyenbos Residence Hall. The Hall has been closed to students for the past twelve months as suite-style rooms are being added, and it will re-open this month as a wonderful new living environment for VCSU students.

Besides the work at Ellig Field and Snoeyenbos Hall, there have been other, smaller construction projects throughout campus that will also improve the student experience at VCSU. Several classrooms are receiving upgrades including new carpet and teaching technology; a number of additional security cameras are being installed both indoors and outdoors across campus; several bathroom facilities are being renovated; upgrades are being made in the Student Center; and upgrades are being made in Allen Memorial Library. Work is also ongoing with architects in preparation for the start of construction to renovate and expand Rhoades Science Center.

In addition, VCSU received $630,000 in grants through the ND Department of Commerce ARRA Energy Efficiency Improvement Program for State Facilities. This funding is allowing VCSU to complete a number of projects this summer that will make the campus more energy efficient including the installation of a new natural gas boiler at the Student Center, upgrades in the plumbing system infrastructure, and building envelope upgrades including door/window sealing and insulation. These are long-term investments that should make VCSU more energy efficient and reduce utility expenditures in the years ahead.

Of course, there have been numerous camps, workshops, and symposiums on campus throughout the summer including various athletic and educational camps with participants of many age levels. Just last week, 15 faculty and administrators from our partner school, Zhejiang Economic & Trade Polytechnic in Hangzhou, China, were at VCSU for two days. It is always enjoyable when VCSU can welcome visitors to the campus and provide them with a wonderful Viking experience.

Fall student-athletes are now returning to campus, VCSU faculty will be back on contract on Monday, August 15, and freshmen move into the residence halls on Friday, August 19. It is a wonderful time of year!