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Minot State University is projecting to finish the renovation of Hartnett Hall by 2024, if not December 2023. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)
Minot State University is projecting to finish the renovation of Hartnett Hall by 2024, if not December 2023. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)

Minot State’s Almost Finished Project

Lydia Hoverson
 February 6, 2023

Hartnett Hall Renovation Progress


MINOT – The renovation of Hartnett Hall at Minot State University is coming close to a finished project.

Brent Winiger, vice president for administration and finance at MSU, said the university was awarded $25 million for the project by the North Dakota State Legislature during a special session in November 2021. The funds came from the American Rescue Plan Act.

MSU requested the money to renovate Hartnett Hall at the previous regular legislative assembly two years ago but did not receive the funds.

“About three years ago we’d had some preliminary plans drawn up for Hartnett Hall, and it was keeping at about $25 million,” said Winiger. “Well, of course inflation has changed everything, so the $25 million doesn’t buy quite as much. So there is some talk about, there’s some ARPA money left, and there’s an outside chance we might get a little more of it.”

So far, the asbestos remediation is finished, and MSU has started on the framing and new walls of Hartnett Hall. It is projected to be finished by 2024, though classes might not be able to begin within the hall right away.

“The building was our most run down academic building on campus,” said Winiger. “It was built back in the early 70s, so it really had to have a lot done to it. It felt fairly claustrophobic, there wasn’t a lot of natural light. The ventilation was really poor in some of the areas where we needed better ventilation where they were using art supplies like salt and things like that.”

Winiger added that the hall didn’t show well when MSU brought in potential students. Winiger said the hall had a run down look and narrow hallways. The building was used for multiple programs such as broadcasting, art, literature, and more.

“There’s been a need for quite some time to do something about it,” said Winiger. “The bigger thing about it isn’t just the classes, you’ve got a lot of students practicing. They’re doing their drawings and their artwork, and theater in there, so people are practicing in there. Summer theater uses it a lot. It was our busiest building, and the dumpiest building that needed a lot of work.”

Winiger said so far it looks as though the $25 million will cover all the costs of the renovation.

“We have to ask for a reimbursement on it as we spend it,” Winiger explained. “It’s already been appropriated, so we’re spinning away as the expenses come in. It’s in full swing. It’s been a really really good project for us. I’ve been really pleased with how it’s coming along.”

The project is listed in a 2023 legislative bill on page 7, line 18 of HB1003 under the 2021-23 biennium. Other funds are mentioned for Minot State University on page 5, line 7, and funds for Dakota College at Bottineau on page 5, line 28. Representatives of both colleges testified on the bill at the House Appropriations committee here.

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