Bemidji State unveiling Memorial Hall, Laurel House at Oct. 2 ceremonies
Sept. 29, 2015 — Bemidji State University will be publicly unveiling the newly-renovated Memorial Hall, home to BSU’s business and account- ing programs, and the completely rebuilt Laurel House honors residence during Oct. 2 ceremonies, in conjunction with Homecoming activities on campus.
BSU/NTC President Dr. Richard A. Hanson will preside over a grand re-opening ceremony for Memorial Hall beginning at 9 a.m.
A year-long, $14 million project transformed the second-oldest building on campus into a state-of-the-art home for Bemidji State’s business and accounting programs. The renovation is part of a strategic construction and renovation plan that will significantly alter the campus over the next several years.
Memorial Hall’s historic art deco front lobby has been retained, but the center of the building, once a basketball court with built-in bleachers on two sides, has been converted into modern classroom space focused on small-group activities, with flexible small-group workspaces in each of the building’s hallways.
Following the re-opening ceremony, Memorial Hall will be open for student-led tours and alumni presentations. The renovated Memorial Hall is LEED Silver certified by the U.S. Green Building Council; it is the first LEED-certified building on the BSU campus.
BSU, Northwest Technical College and other partners have constructed a new Laurel House, a shared living and learning community for stu- dents in BSU’s honors program. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will include light refreshments, begins at 1 p.m., and the home will be open for tours from 1-3 p.m. Laurel House is located at the corner of 16th Street and Birchmont Drive.
The home was built primarily by students in NTC’s trades and construction programs under the guidance of Travis Barnes, NTC facilities supervisor, with support from professional contractors.
As many as four students per year lived in the former Laurel House until 2008, when it was vacated after an examination determined that the home needed extensive repairs and improvements in order to continue as a suitable student residence. During the spring of 2014, the univer- sity worked with NTC, Kraus-Anderson and Bemidji-based MJ Architectural Studios on a plan to demolish the home and build a new Laurel House in its place.