Gate City Bank contributes to renovation of former Stevens Auditorium
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 14:08
The absence of “Stevens Auditorium” and its replacement – “Gate City Bank Auditorium” – may catch students’ attention.
The auditorium, the largest and most used on campus, was recently renovated thanks to a $500,000 donation to the NDSU Development Foundation by Gate City Bank.
NDSU staff and faculty, Gate City Bank employees, community members and NDSU students gathered for the dedication of the renovated auditorium at 2:30 p.m. Monday on the corner of Bolley Drive and Centennial Avenue.
“Although the University is ranked in the top 100 of the nation and is one of the best research universities in the region, many of its facilities are outdated,” NDSU President Dean Bresciani said.
“While we have become one of the top ranked research universities in the nation, due to inadequate resources, many of our facilities have fallen well behind where they really should be,” he said.
Before the renovation, the auditorium’s former Stevens Auditorium, built in 1968, was a prime example of these outdated facilities.
The auditorium hosts many classes under the general education requirements at NDSU, so it is rare for a student not to have a class there.
Before the renovation, the auditorium’s condition was not conducive to student learning and was in fact “counter-productive to the learning that we know needs to take place,” Bresciani said.
“The updates to the auditorium will benefit every student,” he said.
Gate City Bank also offered an endowment to perpetually maintain the auditorium’s condition.
“We really want to thank Gate City Bank…for making all of this possible so that the students of today and tomorrow and many more years to come will enjoy the technology that will allow them to prosper and strive for the world as they graduate from this campus,” said Jim Miller, executive director of the NDSU Development Foundation.
The mission of the NDSU Development Foundation, which has also facilitated renovation projects for Ladd, Dunbar, Sudro and Minard halls, is to improve the campus of NDSU.
“After the idea to renovate classrooms on campus was brought to the foundation, they found donors, including Gate City Bank, that made the renovations possible,” Jonal Uglem, president of the NDSU Development Foundation, said.
The foundation secured a total of $900,000 for the renovation of the auditorium.
Gate City Bank has also contributed to the Gate City Bank classroom in NDSU’s Barry Hall and the Gate City Bank Field in the Fargodome.
Gate City Bank CEO Steve Swiontek remembers attending classes in the auditorium when he was a student at NDSU a few years after it was built.
The bank talked with the Development Foundation about the needs for the auditorium and determined what it would take to bring the building up to the state of current technology, as well as to ensure the building would remain up-to-date for many years.
Some of the improvements made to accommodate current technology include outlets for laptops along the walls and specialized lighting.
Other improvements include new chairs with larger spaces between rows, new carpet, and easier access for people with disabilities and updated red wall color.
“We want to make sure that [the auditorium] is warm and inviting for students as well as other organizations that use this facility,” Swiontek said.
“It is important that the bank plays an “integral role in seeing the success of North Dakota,” and NDSU is an economic driver for the state, he said.
“We believe that…we have an obligation to give back to the communities we serve,” Swiontek said.
Students attending class in Gate City Bank Auditorium this fall will now enjoy a renovated facility that is technologically up-to-date.