By: News Director Larissa Donovan
BEMIDJI– Bemidji State University held a retirement reception for Hagg-Sauer Hall yesterday afternoon.
The ceremony honored the 750 faculty that have had offices in the building in its nearly 50-year history. The ceremony also honored the namesakes of the building, Dr. Harold T. Hagg, hired in 1936 and spent 40 years as a history professor, and Dr. Philip R. Sauer, hired in 1937 as an English professor.
The building was completed in 1970, and has poor handicap accessibility, as well as numerous water issues in the full basement with its close proximity to Lake Bemidji. The basement water seepage has contributed to more than $9 million in deferred maintenance.
Dr. Faith Hensrud spoke on how the upcoming new building has been a plan of the University for nearly twenty years, having been in the University’s improvement plan since the mid-2000s.
The new Hagg-Sauer Hall project, scheduled to begin this summer, received over $22 million from the state legislature last year. The razing of the old 82,000 square foot Hagg-Sauer will take place mid-June to mid-July.
The new, state-of-the-art facility is expected to break ground in mid-August of this year, and is expected to be about 27,700 square feet, to be completed by Fall 2020.
New Hagg-Sauer will be two stories, and will feature flexible learning spaces and an energy-efficient design with extensive windows overlooking Lake Bemidji.
Faculty spaces will be moved to four other buildings, as the new Hagg-Sauer will not house any faculty offices. Renovations to Bensen, Sattgast, the A.C. Clark Library and Bangsberg Halls are expected to be completed by Fall 2020, as well.