In late December 2009, Minard Hall at NDSU suffered a partial structural failure. Fortunately, this failure happened at the perfect time – a time when no one was in the building. The construction company that was putting on an addition excavated a 25 foot hole directly adjacent to the original building and that along with a number of other factors caused the distribution of load to shift causing the support in the middle to fail (to learn more about the failure see Jennifer Thiede’s discussion).
After the collapse, many departments had to make decisions about whether they wanted to stay in the building during the repairs and continuing construction or whether they wanted to move. It will come as no surprise that the faculty in my program (emergency management) had no interest in staying in the building. I personally felt strongly that we had an obligation to role model responsible behavior in the face of that event, and staying in the building held far too great a risk.
I moved over to Putnam Hall and my office furniture moved into storage. I was in my cozy little office in Putnam Hall with borrowed furniture for three and half years. But now our department’s new office space in the Minard addition has arrived at a point where it can be inhabited (note, I didn’t say it is done – the building is still in the throes of major construction).
I enjoyed my time in Putnam Hall with all the folks there. I was a bit sad to leave it, but yesterday I bit the bullet and packed up my things in Putnam so they could be moved back into Minard Hall. Now I am in my new office with my old furniture unpacking and trying to get situated. It really is difficult to believe that collapse was so long ago. I remember in the beginning being told we would likely be in our temporary offices for up to a year. It didn’t quite end up like that. But I am not complaining as the years spend out of Minard and in Putnam have many happy memories tied to them.
I have all summer to properly settle into my Minard Hall office. I have a lot of eclectic things that need to find their perfect spot in the new space. And then there are the eclectic bunch I left in the old space – I’ll be sure to find some room for them to visit as well. Because moving from place to place I can easily do, but leaving my Putnam pals – now that was a bit rougher.
Day one thousand four hundred and fourteen of the new forty – obla di obla da