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Minard Hall costs estimated at $1M

North Dakota State University officials expect to be reimbursed for costs associated with the Minard Hall collapse, which now will include demolishing part of the building.

President Dick Hanson estimated Thursday that the collapse will cost at least $1 million, but he expects insurance companies to reimburse NDSU.

Soil samples indicate that conditions below the northwest corner are weak and the original plan to stabilize that section will not work, said Bruce Frantz, facilities management director.

The floors in the area that collapsed - designated the red zone - will be removed, with work starting in about two weeks, Frantz said.

Officials had planned to insert columns and jack up the floors, but the soils aren't solid enough to support those columns, he said.

The exterior west wall is expected to remain in place.

Soil conditions south and east of the corner that collapsed - areas designated the green and blue zones - are stable, Frantz said.

Hanson updated the state Board of Higher Education on Thursday during a meeting in Grand Forks.

"It's not huge square footage, but it will definitely change everything," Hanson said.

The partial demolition means the renovation and addition at Minard will need to be redesigned, he said.

But first officials need to fully understand issues with the foundation, Hanson said.

"We cannot continue until those conditions are corrected," he said.

The soil samples have given NDSU officials a better idea about what caused the collapse, but they're not ready to discuss it publicly, Frantz said.

Faculty, staff and students have been relocated from the sections of Minard affected by the collapse.

Frantz said he's going to recommend they stay relocated until the renovation is complete.

Hanson told board members dealing with people's fears is a priority, and counselors have been made available.

"I believe there are some people who will never, ever go back into that building," he said