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Ridgewater College plans open house for $14M remodeling project

WILLMAR — Ridgewater College has scheduled an open house for 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the newly remodeled agriculture and veterinary technology programs.

Remodeled facilities for the two programs are the first parts of a $14 million, 80,000-square-foot improvement project on the Willmar campus.

The improved facilities include classrooms and lab facilities for dairy, grain grading, agronomy, precision farming, clinical pathology and anatomy, as well as a lab technician facility.

Visitors are asked to park in lots E and F on the southwest side of the campus. Turn south onto College Drive from 15th Avenue Northwest to get to the lots. The Legislature approved funding for the project in the 2012 state bonding bill.

A smaller first phase was completed several years ago.

In all, the project will remodel about 80,000 square feet in campus buildings and add about 1,250 square feet. Another 8,500 square feet will be demolished.

In the agriculture and veterinary technology areas, classrooms were remodeled to provide more restroom space for the growing buildings and to make more efficient use of the space that was there.

Other parts of the project are ongoing. The student services building has been gutted and will be fully remodeled. The campus bookstore will be moved into the building’s first floor near the new main entrance. Business, counseling and admissions offices, along with other student services will also be on the first floor.

The second floor will have a new kitchen and dining room area, several classroom/conference rooms and a computer lab. A new central staircase to the second floor and a new main entrance are included in the project.

Once that work is finished, Helland Hall, where administrative offices once were, will be demolished. Also scheduled for next summer are landscaping, reconfiguring parking and driving lanes and signs around campus.

The entire project is expected to be finished in time for students to return in August 2014.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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