VCSU Students to Take Classes in Rhoades Expansion

Students at Valley City State University will begin their first week of classes in January in the new addition of the Rhoades Science Center, President Steve Shirley said Friday.

“It’s essentially a two-part project, the renovation of the existing facility and the expansion,” he said. The 28,000-square-foot expansion is almost complete, and they’re just getting down to final crunch time.

While the students are in the new addition, the second and third floors of the existing part of the building will be remodeled. When that’s complete, the entire science center will be open for students in the fall 2013 semester.

The $10.3 million renovation and expansion of Rhoades Science Center at VCSU is one of the largest, single construction projects in the history of Valley City.

Shirley said the completed facility will provide additional space and state-of-the-art, modern facilities to enhance the students’ experience.

The addition will house the Fish and Wildlife program, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program, an engineering lab and the chemistry and biology departments. The renovated existing part of the facility will contain the help desk on the first floor and the physics and mathematics departments on the second and third floors.

The nursing program, which is held collaboratively between VCSU and Dakota College at Bottineau, will also be in the renovated existing part.

After the House Appropriations Committee removed the science building from the 2011 legislative session, VCSU and the Valley City Area Chamber of Commerce established a group of supporters to travel to Bismarck March 9, 2011 to address the Senate Appropriations Committee to get the building back on the list of projects that will receive state money.

Professor Hilde van Gijssel said when complete the building will provide a lot more space for students and faculty and give them modern facilities to work with.

“We won’t have that in the spring semester because we’re still in part of the renovation,” she said, but “We are very excited to get started in the new building in the new spaces.”

VCSU classes resume Jan. 7 after a three-week break over Christmas.