The State Council for Higher Education’s budget and finance committee has approved a number of student accommodation projects planned for the UND, including new and modernized residences on the university campus.
The committee’s latest action, at a meeting on July 20, brings these projects closer to reality. The largest of the projects is a plan to demolish and then rebuild West and McVey Halls, while Brannon Hall would see a vast remodel. Selke and Noren would also see some improvements and become more budget-conscious student residences.
UND’s plan is to partner with Johnson Controls, Plenary, Corvias – called JCP – for the multi-building project, which aims to align housing on campus with the number of students living there. . The project will also eliminate millions of dollars in deferred maintenance.
“We’re basically at a point where our negotiations are pretty much done,” said Jed Shivers, vice president of finance and operations at UND. “The resolution is for you to allow us to move forward so that the remaining items and the contract, if you approve it, can be executed by (UND President Andrew Armacost) and (Chancellor of the NDUS Mark Hagerott). “
Committee members did just that, with a unanimous vote. The draft is due to be presented to the entire Higher Education Council at a meeting later this week. Council members have already discussed the project during a meeting in June.
Tim Mihalick, who chairs the budget and finance committee, spoke in favor of the project and said he found it attractive as it addresses campus construction issues.
“This fixes the deferred maintenance issues and begins to properly size campus housing,” said Mihalick. “It offers what I think is what the students are looking for. ”
The committee also authorized the UND to restructure part of its debt. Two series of bonds totaling more than $ 25 million, taken out for the Wellness Center in 2012 and for the Hamline apartments in 2013, will be refinanced to take advantage of lower interest rates.
In other news from the Committee on Budget and Finance, members:
Approved a comprehensive demolition plan for several apartment buildings and former university residences on campus. A total of 29 apartment buildings are expected to be demolished over a 10-year period, as well as university residences. Including West and McVey Halls, which will be demolished and then rebuilt, Bek, Hancock, Squires and Walsh Halls will be demolished. The apartments to be demolished include a 72-unit building on University Avenue, several eight-plexes and several other buildings scattered throughout the residential areas of the UND campus.
Buildings slated for demolition are past their useful life, UND administrators said, and updating them is not financially feasible. Tearing them down is expected to save the university around $ 61 million. UND must document the building to comply with requests from the State Historical Society, in accordance with the policy of the State Council for Higher Education. The land where the buildings were located will remain empty, giving the UND the opportunity to seek private development there in the future.