Campus Renewal

UND construction, planning and restoration updates.

Summer demolitions

semi-demolished building
Walsh Hall, shown here, was demolished in June. The demolition of neighboring Squires Hall is underway. UND archival image.

Squires Hall

Both Walsh and Squires halls are being taken down this summer in an effort to right-size the University’s dormitory capacity and eliminate millions of dollars in deferred maintenance costs.

Walsh was torn down in June, and Squires’ demolition now is underway.

Asbestos abatement for Squires was completed the week of July 17, and utilities for the building were disconnected in preparation for demolition.

The process for dismantling Squires Hall started the following week.

Crews will work diligently to complete most of the demolition and on-site restoration before the summer is out, said Brian Larson, director of construction management. Of note, Squires will be the last building on the Walsh Quad to be demolished. The area is expected to be green space for the foreseeable future.

The following information about Squires Hall was published at UND Today, gathered by staff writer Adam Kurtz. Check out the full story, titled “Demolition 101: A beginner’s guide to demo,” which covers the process involved with Walsh and Squires halls.

Work began on Squires Hall in 1962 and was completed in the fall of the following year. It was built to replace an old wooden dorm known as Princeton Hall, so named for the street on which it was located. The new building was actually called Princeton Hall at first, and was rededicated as Squires Hall in 1964.

Vernon P. Squires came to UND in 1897 as a professor of English. In 1904 he established Founder’s Day, which marks the anniversary of the signing of the Dakota Territory legislation that established the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Founder’s Day, or UND’s birthday, is celebrated each year.

Squires Hall housed male students in the 1960s, and in the early 70s became an all-female dorm to accommodate the increasing number of women on the campus. According to the document “UND Housing: Serving You for 125 Years,” which is available online at UND Scholarly Commons, “In 1981, Squires Hall, known by many as ‘the convent,’ was the last residence hall on the UND campus to change the visitation policy and to abolish the practice of male sign-ins.”

UND Conference Center
Photo by Walter Criswell/UND Today.

Conference Center/Kappa Delta sorority house

The Conference Center, most recently home to UND’s Kappa Delta Sorority, will be demolished in late July or early August, depending on progress at other active construction sites on campus.

The demolition will be confined to the property at 2724 University Avenue. No closures are anticipated as a result of the work.

The cost of adequately repairing and maintaining the building has outgrown its usefulness, according to UND Facilities Management.

Kappa Delta joined the UND Sorority Community in 2014 and existed as an unhoused chapter until fall 2015, when the chapter took residence in the Conference Center. Kappa Delta maintained a presence until May of this year, when the chapter was informed that the building could no longer be maintained.

Records of the property, in relation to UND, go back to 1926, when it was home to the Upsilon Chapter of Delta Zeta, according to 2010’s “UND Housing: Serving You for 125 Years.”

In 1964, the building was enlarged and remodeled to its current stature. In 1982, the Delta Zeta chapter closed, and the building was purchased by UND in 1985 for use as an all-women residence hall, renamed as the Conference Center.

Johnstone Skywalk

Following the demolition of Hancock Hall, the skywalk that crosses University Avenue and connected Hancock to Johnstone Hall has been removed via crane and will soon be demolished. As a result of this work, a portion of University Avenue will remain closed between July 26 and Aug. 2.

According to UND Facilities Management, the skywalk has been lifted and lowered to street level, where demolition and removal will take place.

The following message was issued to the campus community in advance of the removal, providing detour information for local traffic:

University Avenue will be closed starting Wednesday, July 26, between Princeton Street and Oxford Street, to allow for the demolition of the Johnstone Skywalk.

The demolition work is expected to be completed by the following Wednesday, Aug. 2.

University Avenue will be barricaded at both Princeton Street and Oxford Street, directing traffic to turn north to access 5th Avenue North and 6th Avenue North to avoid the work zone.

The surrounding local streets will remain open, but it is recommended that motorists use 6th Avenue North to limit additional traffic in residential neighborhoods north of campus.

See the image for a depiction of the closure, as well as the recommended detour route.