UND has received initial permission to raze Dakota Hall and multiple other campus buildings.
The university had attempted to sell Dakota Hall, a former motel-turned-student housing building in 2017, but UND facilities leader Mike Pieper said the university received just one, “very low” bid. The university would actually make more money if it knocked down the building then sold the land, according to Pieper.
The State Board of Higher Education’s budget and finance committee approved the university’s request on Tuesday afternoon. The final decision goes to the full board.
Dakota Hall was formerly operated as the Roadking Inn before it was purchased by the university for $1.2 million through a 2003 donor agreement intended to give the school some additional space for student housing.
The now-unoccupied facility at 1015 N. 43rd St. in Grand Forks took in 259 students in its early days but was phased out of the housing pool in about 2009, the Herald previously reported. The hall also has served as temporary office space and as IT space for the North Dakota University System campus office.
Pieper told the Herald in 2017 that the hall is now used for furniture storage.
The committee also gave approval for UND to raze multiple other buildings within campus borders, including the university steam plant, which is in the process of being replaced.
The other buildings slated for removal include former student housing locations that UND has acquired over the years. The four, free-standing family homes/small rental properties were used as UND student housing and have significant deferred maintenance needs. The buildings, located at 3106 Fifth Ave. N., 506 Harvard St., 2920 Fifth Ave. N. and 325 Princeton St., have reached the end of their usability, according to a meeting document. An assessment of these buildings, as outlined in UND’s master plan, indicates that renovation of these properties is not a financially viable option and they should be demolished.
The committee also approved a UND request to sell two apartment buildings, including the Gallery Apartments at 715 N. 40th St. and one 10-unit rental complex at 1225 Stanford Road.
Pieper said the university is attempting to maintain a boundary at Sixth Avenue and selling those buildings would help achieve that goal.