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UND announces intent to demolish campus buildings

The otherwise-unnamed 314 Cambridge building on the UND campus is currently home to one tenant, KFJM radio. The building has had a variety of uses in the past, with previous tenants such as the UND Conflict Resolution Center and the Dakota Student campus newspaper. Campus administrators have designated the building as one of more than a dozen to transistion to offline status. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

UND has officially begun the state-mandated process of approving the demolition of eight campus buildings.

Those buildings are:

  • 2912 University

  • 314 Cambridge (formerly Conflict Resolution)

  • 317 Cambridge (formerly Center for Community Engagement)

  • Chandler Hall

  • The Era Bell Thompson Multicultural Center

  • The International Center

  • The Strinden Center

  • UND Women’s Center building at 305 Hamline St.

The announcement from the university has been in the making for some time.

Last spring, most of the buildings now identified for demolition were named in a master plan as candidates to be taken offline. Not long after that, UND interim President Ed Schafer released a memo naming all eight for phase-out.

Some of the buildings, like 2912 University, the Strinden Center and the former multicultural center, have already been vacated. The remainder are somewhere in the midst of a transitional period to offline status. A UND release stated the remainder of buildings on the intended demolition list will be vacated in the near future.

The announced intent to demolish is just the first step in a longer process guided by state law. So far, UND has sent written notice listing the buildings marked for demolition to the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The society now has 60 days to respond to the notice, during which it may identify elements of historic significance and issue recommendations for preservation or documentation.

At the end of the 60 days, UND will submit its request to demolish the buildings -- along with any response or recommendations from the State Historical Society -- to the State Board of Higher Education and to Mark Hagerott, chancellor of the North Dakota University System.

If the value of a given campus building is less than $250,000, Hagerott may determine the structure’s fate on his own. If the value is greater than $250,000, the choice is directed to the State Board of Higher Education.

If either party approves a demolition, the actual tear-down would be dependent on the availability of funding.

In the past, UND leadership has cited an estimated deferred maintenance backlog of about $500 million as a key motivator for phasing out aged campus buildings.

Andrew Haffner

Andrew Haffner covers higher education and general assignment stories for the Grand Forks Herald. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he studied journalism, political science and international studies. He previously worked at the Dickinson Press.

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