Pierson Hall renovation begins this summer

Mara Wheaton, Assistant News Editor (She/Her)

In late 2021, South Dakota State University announced plans to renovate Pierson Hall and to shut down the dorm during the 2022-2023 academic year for renovations.

Rebecca Peterson, director of housing and residential life, said that once the hall closes May 8, a crew will take out the items that need to be salvaged. Construction is planned to start June 6.

“The contract will take 56 weeks and come to the end of June 2023,” Peterson said.

The two living-learning communities located in Pierson Hall will be relocated to Brown Hall during the 2022-2023 academic year. The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) LLC, typically located on the second and third floors of Pierson, will be on Brown’s second floor, and the Natural Resource Management LLC from Pierson’s second floor will be moved to Brown’s first floor.

Peterson said the move for the LLCs to Brown Hall should be an easy adjustment.

The renovation, which was originally anticipated to cost $9.7 million, will now cost $11 million.

Because of this price shift, the roof of Pierson Hall will no longer be getting renovated at this time; however, it is possible that roof renovation will take place in the next couple of years.

Keith Skogstad, project manager/engineer, said that even though the roof is not getting renovated, there are still plans to get an elevator, updated heating and a central air conditioning system among other improvements that are still planned.

The plan for the basement of Pierson is to create a Hobo Hangout space. In addition to getting updated flooring and ceiling, the university is planning on installing a light and sound system, Skogstad said.

Hobo Hangout will be a place students can go to for a break and hang out with others. Students will also be able to host events in the new space.

Arlinna Bowen, a junior dairy manufacturing major and Pierson Hall community assistant, said she is very excited about the new and remodeled gathering area for the residents to hang out. 

“Once the building is closed, we’re ready to get rolling,” Peterson said.