What's good for MSUM is good for Moorhead

In October of 2020, after its fifth special session, the Minnesota Legislature enacted a capital bonding bill worth $1.92 billion. Although the bill included almost $92 million for Moorhead and Clay County, it did not fund MSUM’s Weld Hall renovation project. At the time, despite my disappointment, I declared the bill a win for both our community and the university. The headline for my biweekly column read, “What’s Good for Moorhead is Good for MSUM.”

This week, the 2023 legislative session will conclude with a $2.6 billion capital investment package that does include $23 million for Weld Hall—a project that’s been “shovel ready” since 2018. The oldest and most iconic building on MSUM’s campus, Weld was last renovated more than 50 years ago. While it still retains its considerable character and charm, it is long overdue for a facelift. We envision a facility with innovative, flexible classrooms and a major renovation of Glasrud Auditorium—including restoration of the grand balcony. The renovation will restore Weld to its original beauty while modernizing and equipping the building for 21st-century learning.

Weld Hall North Entry Remodel Rendering

This means more collaborative learning spaces and state-of-the-art technology. But it also means making the building more accessible to the Moorhead community. While the building currently faces inward toward the campus mall, plans call for adding a north entrance that would make the building welcoming and accessible from 6th Avenue, where there is ample parking. The interior spaces would be usable by the Moorhead community for town hall meetings, community events, conferences, and performing arts events.

In short, the renovation of Weld Hall will be a win for both our campus and our community. As I did in 2020, I firmly believe that what’s good for Moorhead is good for MSUM—and vice versa.

Weld Hall Lobby Remodel Rendering

Dr. Anne Blackhurst served as Minnesota State University Moorhead’s 11th president from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2023.

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