Campus conversion: new buildings, new updates, new green space


Submitted Photo

A rendering of the Frank J. Kurtenbach Family Wrestling Center. It is scheduled to open fall 2022.

Mara Wheaton, Assistant News Editor (She/Her)

Since the end of the 2021-2022 school year, several construction projects on South Dakota State University’s campus have gone underway. Whether it’s to update existing features in the building, construct new buildings or demolish a structure completely, here are some of the projects students may notice as they return to campus this fall.

Scobey Hall demolition

Scobey Hall, a building that was closed for the past five years and sat at the far west edge of campus, has been demolished. According to project manager, Matthew Weiss, the demolition will cost $439,870. Currently, there is no plan for a new project at the Scobey site, and the area will become green space – similar to the Wecota Annex demolition.

Wecota Annex demolition

Wecota Annex on the west side of campus will be torn down and replaced by green space after the Legislature and Gov. Kristi Noem approved House Bill 1023 this spring. 

Taking down the annex will be complicated because it is connected to the west side of Wecota Hall. The deconstruction will need to be done in a way that avoids damaging Wecota. This project began this summer and has a budget of $800,000. 

Frank J. Kurtenbach Family Wrestling Center

SDSU is moving forward with the construction for the $4 million on-campus wrestling training facility. The Frank J. Kurtenbach Family Wrestling Center is nearly 16,000-square-feet and will be located in the southwest corner of the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex. 

Frank Kurtenbach is a former SDSU wrestling alumni and a former coach. The facility will feature over 7,000 square feet of mats, a strength and conditioning area, locker rooms, team room, coaches’ offices and spaces for academics and nutrition. The Frank J. Kurtenbach Family Wrestling Center is tentatively scheduled to open fall 2022. 

First Bank & Trust Arena

Frost Area will be undergoing a $50 million renovation thanks to the record $20 million donation from First Bank & Trust. After the renovation, Frost Area will hold the new name of First Bank & Trust Arena. 

The renovation of Frost Arena into First Bank & Trust Arena was marked with a ceremonial groundbreaking June 2, 2022.

The renovations are expected to last about two years, with each year taking place in phases. The first year will deal with the exterior of the stadium, and the second year will deal with the interior.

Athletic events will continue at the arena while the renovations are taking place. Capacity will drop from 6,500 to 5,500 because of the additions of premium seating areas, a bigger concourse area and new and improved locker rooms. 

Along with that, there will also be new video board and display systems, enhanced sound systems and improved restrooms.

The Union

Phase III of the Student Union renovations began this summer. The renovation of Volstorff Ballroom was the largest part of the operation. The Student Union is not going to be fully closed at any point during the operation according to current plans. 

Sections of the Student Union were closed intermittently throughout the summer. Updates include new terrazzo flooring that will line Main Street of the Union.