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Williston State College manages change during a time of growth and expansion

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Williston State College manages change during a time of growth and expansion

Posted: Oct 07 2013
Williston State College manages change during a time of growth and expansion

WILLISTON, N.D. - Few places in the city have changed as much as the campus of Williston State College. In the last five year, they have completed seven projects which include new buildings, additions, and renovations. The scope of transformation has been great, not only for students and employees, but for the community as well.

"Having been a teacher, I always considered WSC to be a great school. It's just been in the last few years that the appearance has changed dramatically," said Sheri Retzer, former WHS teacher of 30 years. "The aesthetics have really been a focal point and I love how the history of the area is being incorporated into the campus." 

Having just completed a student lounge, science addition, residence hall, apartment building, and several campus beautification projects, Williston State College shows little signs of slowing. This once small extension center is currently working on a front drive renovation, scheduled to be completed mid-October, and is host to one of the most exciting projects in the region: the Williston Area Community Recreation Center.

Both of these projects will change campus radically altering WSC's appearance.

"In terms of the front drive project, we will have a nice landscaped green space where we can host annual events, festivals, and entertainment," said Kayla McKeil, WSC Director for Marketing. "Who knows, we might even be able to host a graduation ceremony out there someday!"

The WARC (Williston Area Recreation Center), set to open spring 2014, is a 254,000 square-foot facility encompassing state-of-the-art equipment and recreation space. The College and Parks and Recreation district continue to partner on this project and discuss new ways to assist each other in its success.

Looking into the future, WSC has plans to renovate Stevens Hall, the main academic building on campus. This renovation will greatly increase the efficiency of the building, not only for students, but for the faculty and staff working there. School officials are working with the JLG architecture firm to finalize plans for the project and work should begin this coming spring.

There have also been discussions regarding a potential second apartment building on campus. This second building would be similar to the first in size and placement on campus grounds. However, it is not clear yet when this project might take place and who it may house.

Present throughout the majority of this recent transformation has been Grand Forks based architecture firm, JLG Architects, who has helped develop WSC's master plan and worked on several projects.

"A master plan, by its very nature, is a suggested outline and a guide for campus growth and development.  At WSC, it has been remarkable how quickly JLG's master plan is becoming a reality," said JLG's Williston Branch Manager, Mike McLean. "The transformation in the last five years is equal to the changes that have occurred in the previous fifty years - going all the way back to the founding of WSC in 1961."

For more information about current and future projects at Williston State College, contact Kayla McKeil at 701.774.422 or kayla.mckeil@willistonstate.edu. For other information regarding Williston State, visit willistonstate.edu, call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND. 
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