Alumni Green construction continues

Phu Nguyen

The South Dakota State Foundation and Alumni Association anticipate the Alumni Green project will be completed by summer 2017.

The project started mid-May, and this summer’s rain slowed the progress of the project by a couple of weeks, but the completion time was not affected, said Steven Erpenbach, president and CEO of the SDSU Foundation.

Following the completion of the building, the Alumni Association wants to bring alumni back to campus, said Andi Fouberg, CEO of the Alumni Association.

“It allows us to host and entertain friends and alumni of the university,” Fouberg said. “We hope to create a connection.”

The Distinguished Alumni Banquet will also move to the new Alumni Center in 2017. A grand opening celebration is being discussed.

Fouberg and Erpenbach said more connection for the alumni was priority in the Alumni Green.

The former Alumni Center building was built 40 years ago when enrollment was less than half of today’s numbers. The new Alumni Green will serve as a better gathering spot because of added space and provide information about the university’s growth.

“It will be a place where we expect when they come back they going to stop in and look for information,” Erpenbach said. “It’s going to be a place they feel like their home.”

Along with the Alumni Green project, a university house, which will be used by the university president, is being built to replace the Woodbine Cottage. The cottage is a century old and can’t keep up with the demands of a growing university.

“It is a really nice and charming house, but very limiting in terms of a president being able to host alumni, friends, prospective donors and also living situation,” Erpenbach said.

The Woodbine Cottage will be repurposed into a guest house, training location for hospitality program or something similar to that, according to Fouberg.

The new president’s house is expected to be completed the same time as the Alumni Green.

President Barry Dunn will be the first president to live there. Dunn and his family will continue to live in their house northwest of Brookings while construction continues.

In addition to the Alumni Green Project and the new president’s house, there will also be landscape modifications. The clock tower will be relocated to the center of the Alumni Green to be more “historically accurate.” The relocation will recreate the concept of the previous Old Central clock tower, Erpenbach said, and create a focal point of the new landscape.  

A new project will create a monument out of two limestones, which were salvaged from the Campanile restoration project 16 years ago. The monument will be dedicated to donors and placed next to the clock tower.

Erpenbach and Fouberg agreed that it is nice to have the SDSU Foundation and Alumni Association in the same building to collaborate better.