Governor Tim Walz visited Minnesota State Wednesday to discuss the future of Armstrong Hall and its plans for reconstruction.
Armstrong Hall is over 60 years old. A building that old requires a ton of maintenance. Essentially it costs more money to run than it is worth.
The demolition and rebuilding of Armstrong would cost roughly $8.46 million with construction starting as soon as 2024. The timeline for the new building to be up and running with students is 2026.
“I need to make sure that we’re investing in the higher education system,” Walz said.
Accessibility, sustainability and modern technology were a few main reasons Armstrong Hall is no longer considered suitable.
“We were just coming down the hallway and they’re not ADA compliant for our students who need that,” Walz said.
With the rebuild of Armstrong, it would also save a significant amount of money in utilities.
“Energy savings alone of about $200,000 a year is what we’re gonna get out of this,” Walz said. “Savings to heat and cool the building that will be modernized so we will get our money back.”
Making the university a place prioritizing progression is a goal they strive for. A point made during the meeting talked about how technologically, Armstrong is not updated for the pace other public schools are at.
“In many cases, you go into high schools that have better technology that are better serving our students today,” Walz said. “We need to be modeling that.”
Students who take classes in the building agree that compared to other buildings on campus, Armstrong is lacking.
“Some of these chairs are not always going to work for every student,” David Mesta, vice president of Student Government said. “Also, not every classroom has support for technology.”
A bonding bill of $1.9 billion aimed to fund several projects across the state was passed by the Minnesota House of Representatives and currently sits in the Minnesota Senate. They must gain a supermajority to pass it. Negotiation between the House and Senate remains, yet Walz says he is confident this project will happen.
“I can tell you with pretty good certainty we’ll get this thing through and continue to make sure that we make Minnesota a place that we’re at higher ed matters to us.”
Walz, an MSU alumnus, received his master’s degree in educational leadership in 2001. He also taught in the Mankato Area Public Schools, and served in Congress from 2007-2019.
Header photo: The Governor of Minnesota Tim Walz visits campus to discuss the reconstruction of Armstrong Hall with faculty and students. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)
Write to Julia Lin at email@example.com