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BSC breaks ground on new communications, arts building

BISMARCK — Gov. Jack Dalrymple helped Bismarck State College break ground Tuesday on its new Communications and Creative Arts Center.

The 40,000 square foot building, designed by JLG Architects, will put the college’s English and visual arts departments together near the center of BSC’s campus, and will replace the school’s library with a 21st century learning commons. It is expected to be completed by summer 2015.

The Center includes full library offerings, studio spaces, a campus gallery, eight high-tech classrooms and faculty office space.

Situated at the corner of Edwards Avenue and Schafer Street, the Center has views of the Missouri River, the Capitol building, Tom O’Leary Golf Course and downtown Bismarck. It will be connected by skyways to Schafer Hall and the Jack Science Center. An arts courtyard will provide outdoor space. It is designed with environmentally sustainable elements, such as low-flow water fixtures and low-emission materials to manage air quality.

North Dakota University System Interim Chancellor Larry Skogen and BSC Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Drake Carter spoke at the groundbreaking, as did Dalrymple.

The Center was proposed in 2012 after a structural study showed severe disrepair and structural issues within the college’s library building.

The North Dakota Legislature provided $12.7 million for construction and another $600,000 for non-construction activities, including humanities programming and support. The Legislature required BSC to raise $665,000 as part of the project authorization. Support from an anonymous donor, as well as a Bremer grant for $166,250, brought BSC to that goal.

The BSC Foundation is working toward a $6 million fundraising goal authorized by the Legislature for a theater addition.