The North Dakota legislative assembly appropriated $400,000 for an additional engineering building at North Dakota State University in 1949.
NDSU’s website said the completion of the North Engineering Building, today known as Dolve Hall, was completed in 1952.
Nowadays, almost 65 years after the building’s original development, plans are in the works for renovations of the building. These will be the first major changes made to the building since its installment.
Funds to improve the mechanical engineering building were approved by the Budget and Finance Committee of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education on Thursday, Nov. 10.
The decision awaited formal approval from the full SBHE, which met Wednesday.
The meeting minutes summary from the BFC stated the cost of the project would be $870,000.
As reported by the Forum, renovations will include the removal of asbestos and upgrades to flooring, ceilings, lighting and windows.
Mike Ellingson, the Director of Facilities Management at NDSU, said that the improvements to Dolve Hall have been in the works for almost three years. “We are trying to be strategic in where we invest our (state) funds across campus as a majority of buildings have needs.”
The primary focus of renovations will be on the first floor, south side of the building where the mechanical engineering suite and offices are located.
Ellingson said he hopes the improvements to the heating system and the replacement of all windows in the building will lead to reduced heating costs and more efficient energy use.
“We want to work on the mechanical system to convert it to hot water heat from steam heat, which will have a fluctuation to maintain temperature,” Ellingson said.
Current windows in the building are single pane, which lend themselves to cold drafts and problems with heat retention.
In addition to heating, plans to improve the flooring have been a priority. Due to asbestos in the flooring, ceiling tiles and walls, a full abatement of the area will be required.
Given the project receives approval from the full SBHE, Ellingson said the intent will be to have the renovations completed by August in preparation for the new school year.
“Our plan is to bid the project in January or February and have bids open in March to give contractors time to start procuring equipment,” he said.
In an effort to avoid displacing the nearly 2,400 mechanical engineering students at NDSU, construction will be postponed until after graduation this spring. Renovations would proceed during the summer when the student population is limited.
Editor’s Note: This post was written before the board had formally ruled on funding the project. Check ndsuspectrum.com for updates to this story.