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ISSUE 119 VOL 13 PUBLISHED 3/10/2006

Building relocations finalized

By Jane Dudzinski
Executive Editor

Friday, March 10, 2006

Even though the new Science Complex will not be completed for at least three to five years, changes anticipating the construction will begin as early as the end of the current semester.

As outlined in an e-mail to faculty and staff Feb. 28, the departments and programs in Old Main Annex, the Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) trailer, the Art Barn, Flaten Hall and Manitou Cottage will change their locations on campus this summer. The majority of these changes will last for the duration of the construction process.

The Academic Transitions Team, whose members include the Dean’s Council, Dean of Students Greg Kneser and Director of Facilities Pete Sandberg, have been strategizing since the fall to place the current inhabitants of the buildings affected by the Science Complex construction in temporary homes.

"We tried to find a reasonable match between available space and the programs’ needs," said Arnie Ostebee, assistant provost and head of the Academic Transitions Team. "We tried to be sensitive to people’s needs and minimize disruptions."

While most of the changes involve making use of unused space on campus, the biggest alteration will be the creation of a “modular village” in the administration parking lot near Rand Residence Hall. The Academic Support Center, the CEL, the Education Department and the TRiO/Educational Opportunity Programs will reside there.

Another significant change will be the addition of the World Languages Center (WLC) to Rolvaag Memorial Library, an academic combination that has been considered for years, according to Ostebee. The new WLC will tentatively feature a coffee shop with foreign language newspapers and live international news feeds.

"We’re excited from an intellectual point of view that the language lab will be integrated with the library," Ostebee said. "Intellectual possibilities have emerged and we have the chance to experiment."

One change that will affect student space directly will be the movement of the Student Support Services (SSS) Program to the Student Organization Resource Center (SORC) in Buntrock Commons. As a result of the switch, student clubs and organizations will have to vacate their private offices, although there will be an effort to create storage space for the groups. The meeting room and the graphics (poster) room will continue to be available to student organizations.

The remainder of the space changes will not have a significant impact on the campus as a whole. The Asian Studies department will move to Steensland Hall, the Center for Lifelong Learning will move to Holland House, the Counseling Center will move to the Skifter Radio Building, Government and Foundation Relations will move to the Administration Building and the Oslo International Summer School will move to Old Main.

International and Off-Campus Studies will move into Steensland Hall, although this switch will probably not occur until October after the department has dealt with students leaving for semester-long abroad programs.

After extensive discussions with all of the groups in the affected buildings, the Academic Transitions Team has found the campus community helpful in the initial stages of planning for the relocations.

"The spirit of cooperation is fabulous," Sandberg said. "There is the understanding that this needs to happen to get a good result for the campus."

The Academic Transition Team’s goal is to have all of the departments and programs moved during the summer and in place before students return in the fall. However, an element of uncertainty still lingers.

"Plans are subject to change," Ostebee said. "People shouldn’t be totally surprised next fall if something isn’t exactly where we said it would be."

After the relocations are completed, the next phase of construction will involve taking care of the newly vacated buildings. Old Main Annex will be destroyed, the CEL trailer will become an on-site construction office and both the Art Barn and Flaten Hall will be dismantled so that material from the buildings can be salvaged. Manitou Cottage will either be moved or destroyed.

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