Churchill Hall Remodel Could Make Building More ‘Flexible’

GABBY HARTZE | THE SPECTRUM Churchill Hall is an all-male, freshman residence hall built in 1930.
Churchill Hall is an all-male, freshman residence hall built in 1930.

Renovations to North Dakota State’s oldest residence hall could have the building more versatile than ever before.

Rian Nostrum, Residence Life director, said the Churchill Hall remodel project would gut the whole building and “then be rebuilt into a new space.”

Renovations, pegged at a price tag of $10 million so far, would allow for new basement windows, better gathering spaces, an elevator on all floors and an increase in rooms. Churchill is an all-male, freshman residence hall, built in 1930. Currently, 198 students live there, but renovations could increase the population to 210 students, Nostrum said.

He added that a contractor would begin work in the basement in summer 2016, clearing it out and removing walls before more renovations begin in December 2016, lasting eight months.

The fall 2016 semester would see a range of students living in Churchill’s final semester before its remodel, as it would be “one entire building of overflow,” Nostrum said.

Churchill would be at the back of Residence Life’s overflow housing list as upperclassmen, nontraditional, transfer and other students could live there. The residence hall would be a good option for students who “really only need a semester of housing,” Nostrum said.

Following its summer 2017 completion, Churchill’s renovations would break the longtime tradition of the building being an all-male, freshman residence hall.

“People see Churchill as an all-male building,” Nostrum said. “We want the future design to (accommodate) both men and women.”

The building’s design could allow for men to live there one year, then women the next, Nostrum added. Meanwhile, Churchill’s basement, which 90 percent of is unused due to inappropriately sized windows, will allow for more community space, storage, residential spaces and natural lighting.

Churchill residents mainly use the basement’s lounge and laundry room, Nostrum said.

The entire renovation cost is still up in the air pending bids and a final design, but Nostrum said, “Right now, we are comfortable with $10 million.”

The building’s final design would keep Churchill’s “historical” aspects intact while accommodating co-ed residents, Nostrum added.

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