NDSCS to explore New Options for Repurposing underused Residence Halls

Lutheran Social Services senior housing initiate on Wahpeton campus will not move forward

The North Dakota State College of Science will begin efforts to explore new options for repurposing three minimally used residence halls on the Wahpeton campus. The effort reignited after the College recently learned that Lutheran Social Services (LSS) was unable to put together an application for Housing Incentive Funding for the initiative through the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, under the current program guidelines.

NDSCS had been in discussions with LSS representatives to turn three underused or minimally used residence halls into senior housing. The possible arrangement would have had the agency renovate and lease the buildings from the College. The NDSCS/LSS partnership for the repurposing of Babcock, MacMahon and Saterlee Halls had the support of the Wahpeton City Council and a green light from the 2011 State Board of Higher Education.

NDSCS President John Richman is disappointed that the venture will not move forward, remarking: “We saw this as a win-win type of situation for the Wahpeton community and the College.”

Jessica Thomasson, CEO of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, said: “It is with all sincerity that I say that this was the project I have most been looking forward to undertaking, of any we have looked at in our organization’s short history—it was such a great opportunity to develop a long-term, meaningful partnership with a quality institution like NDSCS.”

The College will immediately begin exploring other types of business avenues for the three residence halls.

Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota is a nonprofit social services leader strengthening the lives of thousands of individuals and families annually. The agency provides affordable housing, food, disaster response, care for seniors, support for child care workers and a host of different types of counseling and therapy.

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