Recently in facilities and operations Category

A ceremonial ground breaking for a new wellness center will take place on Monday, September 22, 2014, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The ceremony, which begins at 12:15 p.m., will be held on the site of the new wellness center just west of the Sports Center. All are welcome and parking is available in Lot G near the Kiehle Building on campus.

Prior to the ground breaking there will be a major gift announcement for the project by the Office of Development & Alumni Relations. The announcement will take place in the Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center at 11:30 a.m.

Guests for the ceremony include University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, along with several members of the U of M Board of Regents and the Minnesota Legislature.

When completed, the new wellness center will be approximately 36,000 square feet featuring a two-court recreational gymnasium space, workout and fitness spaces, locker rooms, public spaces, a classroom, and a multipurpose room. 

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the 2014 Legislative Bonding Bill last May. The bill included state funding for several projects for the University of Minnesota system, one of which was a $10 million allocation for a Wellness Center at the Crookston campus.  An additional $5 million will be raised for the project through philanthropic efforts.

Background

Originally built in 1930 when the campus was a residential high school, the current recreational facility, the UMC Sports Center, has been significantly updated only once--in 1980 when Lysaker Gymnasium was added along with some additional office space and training rooms. The central core of the facility, Knutson Gymnasium, is more than 80 years old and houses the current fitness and exercise area. 

The Sports Center is shared by varsity athletics, intramural sports, and the student body. Because of the need for student-athletes to use the facility for conditioning, practice and training, it is overcrowded and virtually inaccessible to most other students.

Studies indicate that college wellness facilities have a positive impact on successful student persistence, grade point average, and graduation rates. These studies also show that habits related to wellness directly impact lifelong health and are connected to a stronger workforce. In addition, the Wellness Center will help enhance academic programs such as UMC's sport and recreation management, and develop new opportunities to meet workforce needs for training in the areas of health and wellness.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Andrew Svec, director, communications, public relations, and marketing, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu)

ChrisFeeKROX_07-31-2013.jpg
The installation of artificial turf on Ed Widseth Field at the University of Minnesota Crookston gained some yardage recently with a gift of $25,000 from KROX AM. With Ed Widseth Field used by the Golden Eagle athletics and the Crookston High School, it is essential to install artificial turf to keep the surface ready for play. 

"I feel this is a very important project for UMC, Crookston High School, and the city of Crookston," says Chris Fee, owner/general manager of KROX.  "My wife Tiffany and I have two sons who play football and will be playing on the field turf in the future as Crookston Pirates, and, who knows, maybe even as Golden Eagles." 

Almost all football fields in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), the conference in which the U of M Crookston competes, have upgraded to artificial turf. Not only is the artificial surface easier to maintain, it reduces injury and can handle up to six times more traffic than grass fields. The estimated cost of the project is approximately $1 million including of the initial investment necessary to build the base for the turf.
"KROX is always willing to support the kids in town, and we can't wait to see the smiles of all the athletes when the project is complete," Fee continues. "We encourage Crookston Pirate and UMC Golden Eagle Football fans to donate what they can, from $100 to $100,000 to make sure the project happens and the teams won't have to move home games out of Crookston again!"

Bill Tyrrell, director of athletic fundraising, is grateful for the leadership demonstrated by KROX. "This generous contribution helped us surpass the $100,000 mark in the effort," says Bill Tyrrell, director of athletic fundraising. "We are grateful for and excited by this show of support for the project and for our student-athletes. Thank you to Chris Fee and KROX for their generosity and for seeing the importance of the turf project to the Crookston campus and the community."

For questions regarding the project or to help support the effort, contact Tyrrell at 218-281-8436 (tyrrell@umn.edu). 

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 28 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 11 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo, left to right, are Chris Fee; Bill Tyrrell, director of athletic fundraising; and Stephanie Helgeson, director of athletics

Contact: Bill Tyrrell, director, athletic fundraising, 218-281-8436 (btyrrell@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

extension.jpgAs of July 2, 2012, the Regional Extension Office of Crookston, which includes the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, has moved to the Valley Technology Park just north of University of Minnesota, Crookston campus. The Valley Technology Park's newest tenants began the move late last month and have officially vacated their prior occupancy at the U of M, Crookston in favor of the new location.

Though they have moved, all staff phone numbers and e-mails remain the same. The increasing growth at the U of M, Crookston campus and the need for more office facilities created the opportunity for the change.

The new location will allow easier access to regional Extension staff. When asked about the move from the U of M, Crookston to the Valley Technology Park, Deb Zak, Northwest Regional Extension director, is nothing but smiles, "the chance to relocate presented itself as an opportunity for our office to improve in many ways. We have almost doubled our work space and are now much more accessible to the public." Visitors can pull into the parking lot at the Valley Technology Park and enter the Extension office through the east entrance of the building.

In addition to easier access for the community, Zak has other reasons for being a fan of the move, "I love the new offices. It is the first time in my career I have been able to design new offices and order new furniture."  Working with the CHEDA, the U of M, Crookston and Extension made it possible to complete the move without missing a day of operation.  

The new address for the Regional Extension Office of Crookston is 510 Country Road 71, Crookston, Minn., 56716. Their phone number is 888-241-0781.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo, left to right: Deb Zak, director, Crookston Regional Office, U of M Extension; Marlene LeBlanc, executive administrative specialist; Bill Craig, Extension educator/instructor; Linda Kingery, executive director, Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership; Karen Myszkowski, community program specialist; DeeAnn Leines, Extension educator/assistant professor; UMC student workers/summer interns Alex Busher, Brooke Novak, and Abbey Wemimo.



Contact: Deborah Zak, Regional Director, Northwest, Extension Regional Office, Crookston. Phone: 218-281-8684 or 1-888-241-0781. E-mail: dzak@umn.edu; Austin Czichotzki, communicatons assistant, 218-281-8446 (czich003@crk.umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assista

Campus and Community challenges on track to surpass energy-savings goals

Hard work to sustain savings begins

Fergus Falls, Minnesota, April 20, 2011 Otter Tail Power Company celebrated with the University of Minnesota, Crookston, and the community of Rothsay, Minnesota, as the company announced preliminary energy savings associated with the Campus and Community Energy Challenges.

In 2010 the University of Minnesota, Crookston, achieved metered kilowatt-hour savings of approximately 7 percent to 8 percent. From early 2009 through early 2011 Rothsay achieved metered kilowatt-hour savings of approximately 3 percent. When all technology improvements and behavioral change initiatives have been in place for a full year, and when results are adjusted for changes in weather and normally occurring growth, the University of Minnesota, Crookston, is on track to save 17 percent of its prior electricity use. Rothsay is on track to save more than 19 percent. The goals of these challenges are based on sustained savings over a five-year period. Pending regulatory review and approval, that means the campus and town are on track to surpass their energy-savings goals.

"We launched these challenges with a call to imagine all of the residents of a small rural community and all the students, faculty, and staff of a college campus working together to reduce the electricity use of their entire town and campus each by 10 to 15 percent," said Kim Pederson, Otter Tail Power Company Manager, Market Planning. "What they've accomplished so far was more than we imagined possible, but the hard work is still in front of them as they strike out on their own to sustain these savings."

The Crookston campus achieved much of its savings from upgrading campus lightingTree Planting 3598.jpg and installing automated controls on variable-frequency drives for some of the ventilation systems. Otter Tail Power Company assisted with the audits to identify high-level savings projects and provided more than $86,000 in grants and rebates to encourage the investments by reducing payback times.

"Significant savings also were noted when the Facilities Management Department implemented a new work order system in August that took deliberate steps to change operational procedures such as shutting off more lights than before, closing shades, and reducing heating levels in certain areas," said Chancellor Charles Casey. "I'm proud but not surprised about just how much the people on this campus have been able to accomplish. And I'm confident that the behavior changes we've been focused on will continue to show real results."

The community of Rothsay achieved more than half of its cumulative savings from behavioral changes on the part of Rothsay Public School, homeowners, and businesses. Otter Tail Power Company also granted almost $117,000 in rebates for energy-efficient lighting and technology improvements. "This program was developed as a three-legged stool," said Pederson. "Education, efficient end-use technologies, and incentivized behavioral changes each play a critical role in the success of these projects. And achieving long-term savings in Rothsay will be possible only with ongoing energy-saving behaviors and a community that won't settle for anything less than achieving its goal."

Rothsay Public School is committed to continuing its leadership role in this challenge. "The Community Energy Challenge has been an excellent program that has brought a new sense of awareness regarding energy use throughout the community," said Ehren Zimmerman, Dean of Students/Principal at Rothsay Public School. "And it has brought a new approach to hands-on learning for our faculty, staff, and students. Now it's our turn to pay it forward and keep the savings going."

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation visit www.ottertail.com.

In the photo: To celebrate the success of the Campus Energy Challenge at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, Otter Tail Power Company donated two basswood trees. The shade trees were planted on the west side of the Early Childhood Building to help provide energy savings in the summer. Project leaders and guests marking the event include (left to right): Student Green Team leader Ben Williams, Center for Sustainability Director Dan Svedarsky, Vice Chancellor of Academics and Student Affairs Thomas Baldwin, Chancellor Charles Casey, Otter Tail Power Company Project Manager Jon Fabre, University of Minnesota, Crookston, Facilities Green Team member Brian Christianson; former Student Green Team lead Lisa Gentele, Otter Tail Power Company Crookston Area Energy Management Representative Ken Johnson, Otter Tail Power Company President and CEO Chuck MacFarlane, Minnesota Department of Commerce Deputy Commissioner Bill Grant, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar's Moorhead Office Representative Andrew Martin, U.S. Senator Al Franken's Northwestern Minnesota Field Representative Valerie Graveseth, and U.S. Representative Collin Peterson's Red Lake Falls Office Representative JoAnn Zutz.

Contact: Cris Kling, Otter Tail Power Compnay, 218-739-8297; Andrew Svec, director of communications, U of M, Crookston, 218-281-8432 (asvec@umn.edu)

University rewarded for rising to the Campus Energy Challenge

The University of Minnesota, Crookston, received a check for nearly $80,000 for results Otter Tail check 2916.jpgachieved through Otter Tail Power Company's Campus Energy Challenge. According to U of M, Crookston, Chancellor Charles H. Casey, this payment and the savings they expect to redirect to students, staff, and faculty later this year are great, but the real reward is the heightened energy-saving awareness that is developing. "When Otter Tail Power Company chose this school as its first Campus Energy Challenge participant, we knew the many opportunities for energy-efficient technology upgrades would result in savings," said Casey. "But our administration has been pleased to see how much difference operational and behavioral changes have made to our electric bills. We've also been very pleased with the efforts of our students, faculty, and staff and with the support and expertise everyone at Otter Tail Power Company has provided.  It has been a team effort."

otpOtterLogoColor.jpgOtter Tail Power Company Energy Management Representative Ken Johnson presented the check, which combines three Campus Energy Challenge payments. The two largest payments are for rebates on lighting upgrades ($33,109) and for variable-frequency drives with an automated control system ($26,518). These technologies enable the campus to reduce its electricity use by 655,300 kilowatt-hours a year. "The overall goal is a 10 percent to 15 percent reduction in electrical use, and these changes alone result in about 8.9 percent," said Johnson. "We're confident that with the ReDirect program's behavior-related savings they'll reach the 10 percent goal and may even approach 15 percent."

The third payment of $20,000 reimburses U of M, Crookston, for expenses related to the ReDirect program, another component of the Campus Energy Challenge. Developed by Eugene A. Scales & Associates, ReDirect helps schools and other large organizations incentivize their students and employees to reduce energy use by "redirecting" most of the savings back to these stakeholders.

"We've seen notable reductions in electric meter readings that date back to our facilities staff's implementation of operations changes in their work order system.  I'm optimistic that with continued dedication by these employees, and even greater student, staff, and faculty behavioral changes through the end of the academic year, we'll be able to announce achievement of the goal during the Campus Energy Challenge's April 19 tree planting celebration," said Casey.  Governor Dayton, U.S. Senator Klobuchar, and many other state and local leaders and the public are invited to join the campus for that Earth Week event.

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation visit www.ottertail.com.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,450 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo: State Legislators LeRoy Stumpf and Deb Kiel were on hand for the equipment rebate check presentation by Otter Tail Power Company to the U of M, Crookston.  Left to Right:  Minnesota State Senator LeRoy Stumpf (District 1); Minnesota State Representative Deb Kiel (District 1B); Ken Johnson, Energy Management Representative, Otter Tail Power Company; U of M, Crookston Chancellor Charles H. Casey; and Tim Norton, Director of Facilities and Operations, U of M, Crookston.

Contact: Cindy Kuismi, project communications specialist, Otter Tail Power Company, 218-739-8751 (CKuismi@otpco.com); Andrew Svec, director, communications, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu)

American Crystal Sugar helps the U of M, Crookston Keep the Heat On

CSteam Patch-1.jpgrookston, Minn.  -  With the cool fall weather, the University of Minnesota, Crookston was grateful for the help of American Crystal Sugar Company in keeping the heating system working recently. On Tuesday, October 27, facilities staff on campus investigated an issue that led to the discovery of a break in the high pressure steam line near an expansion joint in the heating tunnels on the north side of Skyberg Hall, a student residence facility located near the Sports Center.

After checking with local vendors in Crookston, Grand Forks, and Fargo, and even a visit by the water department in Crookston--none of which led to a workable solution--Brian Christiansen, a maintenance supervisor on the campus, suggested a call to American Crystal Sugar Company. The call was directed to Tom Dravits, an employee of American Crystal, who located a high pressure steam line collar in their supply inventory.

Steam Patch-2.jpgThe high pressure steam collar was installed and helped the campus avoid having to rebury the line in order to continue to supply heat to the residence hall. The campus was able to maintain the heat thanks to the installation of the collar and to continue work on the line to prepare it for the cold months ahead thanks to the parts and expertise provided by American Crystal.

Tim Norton, director of facilities and operations on the Crookston campus, was appreciative of the help provided to the campus. "We are grateful for the Crookston Water Department who came out and tried to assist us," explains Norton, "and also to Tom Dravits and everyone at American Crystal who helped locate what we needed. We are fortunate to have such great neighbors in Crookston who were willing to help when we needed it."

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit www.UMCrookston.edu.

Contact: Tim Norton, director, facilities and operations, 218-281-8490 (norto005@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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