A new breathtaking view

February 19, 2012
Aberdeen American News

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Project manager Andy Schaunaman shows an image (American News Photos by Calvin Men)
Project manager Andy Schaunaman shows an image (American News Photos by Calvin Men)
As the mild winter continues, the addition to the Barnett Center is estimated to be completed in April, said Northern State University President Jim Smith.

Smith, who took a tour of the second floor of the 26,411-square foot addition, said it was more than what he expected.

"The second floor, it just kind of catches your breath," said Smith, noting the floor to ceiling windows to be installed on the second floor.

The project, which began construction in July, is beginning to take shape and look more like the artist renditions.

The $3.2 million project is a welcome addition to the 25-year-old athletic center, which the university has outgrown, Smith said. Currently, the institute's 2,200 square foot weight room and six locker rooms are shared by more than 400 athletes on 17 interscholastic teams.

The new amenities include:

-A wrestling room large enough to accomodate two full-sized mats.

-A new fitness center with a weight room and an indoor track.

-Several new offices for coaches and faculty.

Coaches and faculty at Northern State University can expect to start moving into the Barnett Center by the end of March, Smith said.

"They're amenities you already find in Division I programs, but you don't always find in Division II," Smith said.

He also said the construction progress was 30 days behind where he had hoped it would be. Initial estimates of completion were February, but additions to the project pushed back the completion date.

Andy Schaunaman, project manager for the Barnett Center construction, said the project was not behind.

"Technically, they're still on schedule," he said. "The schedule was pushed back for added work."

Though it's not estimated to be complete until April, Smith said the project will be far enough along for some tours during the State B boys' basketball tournament and State A wrestling tournament in March.

"We probably won't have it in good enough shape to have students go through, but we'd probably want to bring the coaches through," Smith said.