WILLISTON Williston State College broke ground for its new science wing Wednesday. Construction will begin this summer and the space will be ready for occupancy for the 2012 fall semester of classes.
Speakers included Terry Olson, executive director for the Williston State College Foundation, N.D. Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, Williston Mayor Ward Koeser, architect Alan Dostert, and college president Raymond Nadolny.
The new science wing, which is 10,000 square feet, will feature classrooms, laboratories, and office space for instructors. The current facilities have not been upgraded in quite some time and are in need of updating.
Submitted Photo - - Officials gather Wednesday to break ground for the new science wing at Williston State College.
Submitted Artwork - - Artist’s rendering of the new science wing, scheduled for completion next fall.
Levin T. Black/Williston Herald - - This statue of Sitting Bull, by Williston artist Dave Njos, was unveiled Saturday at Williston State College.
"It is time for this upgrade," said Wanda Meyer, vice president for instruction. "The science labs are the original facilities that came with the building, and we're celebrating our 50th anniversary this year. There have been no major updates to things such as the gas lines, water lines, ventilation, etc.
"There are lots of potential health and safety issues that we must take care of to be safe," she added. "For instance, we will now have updated and proper ventilation that will make the labs safer, allowing us to do more advanced work."
"This addition will bring Williston State College into the 21st century with its science department," said Justin Maddison, Williston State College vice president of business services. "All equipment will be state-of-the-art technology, giving WSC students an education that is second to none among colleges in the state."
Sitting Bull statue unveiled
A large statue of Sitting Bull was unveiled last weekend at Williston State College. The statue and landscaping in front of the college's Stevens Hall is part of a campus beautification project at the college.
In Phase 2 of the project, Williston artist Dave Njos will be creating a Lewis and Clark-themed statue to be placed near the new science wing,
projected for the north end of Stevens Hall, overlooking Rabon Field.
Richard Stenberg, assistant professor of history and a member of the campus beautification committee, said: "Since this is a science wing, we should have something commemorating science and the surveying that has been done in our area.
"Lewis and Clark were sent to survey and chart the river," Stenberg said. "That is what Clark, who was the navigator and cartographer, did."
Njos, who has done a number of projects for Williston State College and for the community of Williston, said that when he heard about the sculpture projects, he had a vision for the science wing sculpture and approached college president Raymond Nadolny.
"The one for the science building came to me right away and I told him I'd be interested in doing that one," Njos said.
At this time, Njos is thinking of a double life-size sculpture featuring navigation equipment used by the Lewis and Clark expedition such as a sextant, a compass, etc.; Clark's desk with a photo of the map he made of this area, an ink bottle with a feather quill sticking out of it, and possibly having Clark's hat hanging on the corner of the table.
"This project is in relation to the addition of our science wing," Nadolny said. "Because the Lewis and Clark Expedition was the United States' first scientific expedition, we wanted a monument to commemorate that experience in our history and in our area."
Meyer added that the entire setup of the new labs will be on the research side of science.
"We will be able to get involved with some very interesting projects that we haven't been able to do up to this time," she said. "We'll also be able to add more variety to the science courses we offer and with the community changing as it is, this will be a positive thing for the community. It's really exciting to have these opportunities available to us now."
"With the importance of health and wellness in our community, a state-of-the-art science facility is a welcome addition to our college community," Nadolny said. "A strong background in science is critical to our young people being able to maintain a competitive edge in today's global economy."