The following is a list of the buildings on the campus of University of Jamestown. It is our hope that these descriptions will give you a little more information on the history of this great institution.
Old Main (built in 1886-87)
General Information: Old Main originally stood on the present site of Watson Hall. The building burned down in September of 1930. When built, it housed all classrooms, library, offices, chapel, dining room, and men’s dormitory. Women lived in private homes at the time.
Sanford Hall/Sorkness Center (built in 1910)
General Information: The building was originally named for the Sanford family from the Courtenay, North Dakota, area, who were the major contributors to the building. It housed approximately 50 students and has served as both a men’s dormitory and a women’s dormitory. The dining room was in the basement from the time it was built until Voorhees Chapel was built in 1917. In the mid-1970s, the building was closed because of low enrollments and the poor condition of the building.
The building was completely renovated in 1976. Total cost for the renovation was less than $400,000, which was relatively inexpensive compared to a rejected plan to tear down Sanford Hall and build just a nursing building, with a government loan, costing more than $1 million. A historic building was saved, the campus circle was maintained, and 50% more space was created. The building was renamed to honor a major contributor and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Joseph Sorkness of Jamestown.
In 2016 renovations to the building were completed to house the Mechanical Engineering program. An addition was begun in the summer of 2018 to house the lab for that program. In addition to the Mechanical Engineering program, Sorkness houses the campus IT department.
Thaw Hall (built in 1912)
General Information: This building served as the College’s library until 1972 when Raugust Library was built. For a time in the early years, the lower level served as a gymnasium and basketball court. The building housed the Psychology Department before that department moved to the Lyngstad Center.
Status: Thaw Hall was demolished in 2011 due to building condition and concerns for the safety of the college community.
Liechty Center Taber Hall (built in 1913)
General Information: This building was financed by the widow of Cyrus McCormick, inventor of the reaper, and named for Henry M. Taber, who was instrumental in reopening the College in 1909 as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The building is currently a classroom building which also houses the College’s administrative offices.
Renovation: In 2009, this building received a major facelift with the complete renovation of the lower level into a beautiful Admissions welcome center. The main floor is the home of the Business Office, Registrar, Provost, Development & Alumni Relations, and the President’s office. Classrooms continue to be housed on the third floor. The renovation was funded through a gift from Reuben and Clarice Liechty of Jamestown, ND.
Voorhees Chapel (built in 1917)
General Information: This building carries the name of the major contributor, Mrs. Voorhees of New Jersey. The basement was originally used as the dining room until 1960 when Westminster Hall was built. Voorhees Chapel is the only building on campus named in the National Register of Historic Buildings. In the early days, mandatory chapel was held five times a week, later three times a week, and presently, voluntary chapel is held each Thursday. The south wing of the building now houses the Religion/Philosophy Department.
Memorial Gymnasium/Hansen Center/J-House (built in 1923)
General Information: This building was originally built as a memorial to the veterans of World War I. Construction was financed by general contributors. At the time of construction, it was one of the largest buildings of its type in North Dakota and contained the first indoor swimming pool in the state. Lack of seating, changing building codes, and condition of the building caused restricted use of the building in the mid 1970s.
There was a $750,000 renovation of Memorial Gymnasium in 1993. This renovation was funded primarily by Gordon ’44 and Charlotte ’44 Hansen of Jamestown. The building was therefore renamed the Hansen Center in their honor.
In 2018, Dr. Jo-Ida Hansen, daughter of Gordon and Charlotte Hansen, funded a renovation which created a student activity space featuring a game room, media room, and study areas.
Watson Hall (built in 1930)
General Information: This building was built upon the site where old main burned the same year. It is named for Mrs. Watson of Fargo who financed its construction. It was originally a men’s dormitory, later a women’s dormitory, and now men and women occupy alternating floors.
Renovation: There was a major renovation to Watson Hall in 2014. One out of every three rooms was modified to convert the entire hall into a suite-style dorm with the center room being a common area for the outside two rooms. There was also an addition added to the building as an added common area.
Taylor Stadium/Rollie Greeno Track/Al Cassel Field (built in 1934-35)
General Information: The stadium was originally named Roosevelt Stadium, but later re-named for Frank B. Taylor, long time Dean of the College and a sports enthusiast. It was a Civilian Works Administration project of the depression years.
Renovation: A major renovation of the stadium was made in 1985 with the assistance of the National Guard, the Jamestown Park Board, and friends. It included work on the east side to provide for eight running lanes all the way around the track, changing the track from 400 yards to 400 meters, installing a new composition running surface, and installing several composition surface jumping areas. The most recent renovation took place in 1999 for $700,000. This renovation included new grandstands, a new press box, a renovation of the track, and new retaining walls among other things.
Orlady Hall/McKenna Thielsch (built in 1941)
General Information: Major funding for this building came from the Benjamin Orlady family. Mr. Orlady was a member of the Board of Trustees at the time. The lower level housed the Jimmie Grill and student union until Westminster Hall was built in 1960. In the 1950s, a campus radio station was also located in the lower level. The building continues to house biology, chemistry, math, and physics facilities.
Renovation: The building underwent a $430,000 renovation in the summer of 1989. Relocated walls, new plumbing, wiring, heating, air conditioning, lighting, and furnishings, along with $106,000 in new instruments makes the facility outstanding for undergraduate science students. Financing came from a $122,500 grant from the Bush Foundation, $100,000 from the Mary (Orlady) Sorkness estate, $75,000 from the Burlington Northern Foundation, $10,000 from Norwest Banks, and generous gifts from Mr. Mel Arnold ’28 and others. In 2013, another renovation took place with an addition named McKenna Thielsch named after contributors. McKenna Thielsch houses nursing and science labs. Orlady contains classrooms and offices for nursing and science faculty in addition to conference rooms.
Little Theater (built during World War II)
General Information: The building was built during World War II by the federal government, while Air Force cadets were training on campus. The federal government declared it surplus and it was given to the College in 1946. At first, the College used it as a student union and later converted it into the Little Theater. The Board of Trustees in 2005 voted to dismantle the Little Theater when the building became structurally unsound.
Status: The Little Theater was torn down in 2000.
J-House Residence Hall (built during World War II)
General Information: This building was built during World War II by the federal government as housing for the Air Force cadets who were training on campus at the time. The federal government declared it surplus and it was given to the College in 1946 when it became a “temporary” dormitory for 50 men.
J-House Residence Hall was demolished in 2012 to make room for the McKenna Thielsch addition to Orlady Hall.
Kroeze Hall (built in 1957)
General Information: This building was named for Dr. and Mrs. Barend Kroeze. Dr. Kroeze was President of Jamestown College from 1909 to 1946. The building currently serves as the largest freshman dormitory. A major renovation took place during the summer of 2014.
Badal Nafus Center (built in 1959-60)
General Information: This building originally housed the dining facilities, post office, bookstore, and Jimmie Grill on the first floor and the student union and chaplain’s office on the second floor. It currently houses the dining facilities, Jimmie Grill, student union, and a new C-store.
A renovation of the kitchen facilities took place in 1997 at a cost of $570,000. A renovation of the dining facilities took place in 2002. This was a $300,000 renovation which fully refurbished the dining room into a very elegant dining room. In 2014 another renovation took place in the dining room at a cost of $850,000.
Lead donors Ed ’63 and Elaine Nafus funded a renovation in 2007 with focal point of a two-story atrium entrance leading into an open commons area. In 2015, the upstairs area (formerly named L2) was renovated.
The building, formerly named Westminster Hall, was renamed Badal Nafus Center in 2018 to honor University President Robert Badal.
New Hall/Nierling Hall & Wilson Hall
Year Built: 1967
General Information: These buildings were built by an investor from Minneapolis named Andrews Allen as a private enterprise on the College’s property to house college students. The buildings were later purchased by the College. These facilities were the first on campus to vary dormitory design from several single or double rooms sharing bathroom facilities to mini-apartments where a family or four students have their own bathroom. Kitchens were included in some of the rooms as well. Wilson Hall was named for John Wilson, a 1926 graduate, former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and generous donor. New Hall was later re-named for the Nierling family in the mid-90s for their long-time dedication to and support of Jamestown College.
Year Built: 1972
General Information: This building was named for Carl and Harriet Raugust, members of the class of 1927 and major contributors to the library. The south roof line corresponds to the sloped roofs of the older buildings, while the north roof line corresponds to the flat roofs of the newer buildings. The library, while designed to primarily serve Jamestown College students, is also open to the public.
In 2018, the area on the lower level that previously housed classrooms was renovated into a student support area named the Student Success Center. The Center provides students with tutoring services, study groups, a writing lab, and study abroad and career services offices.
Year Built: 1979
General Information: The original design of this facility included lignite, oil, and gas capability. The lignite facilities were removed in 1989 because of the cost of the fuel and the difficulty in handling it. Oil is a back-up to the gas boilers.
Larson Sports Center
Year Built: 1980
General Information: The facility houses the Athletic Department, in addition to exercise facilities and some classrooms.
A 12,000 square foot addition was constructed in 2007 to accommodate indoor training for track, baseball and fast pitch softball.
In 2018, a new weight room was constructed.
Year Built: 1991
General Information: This building was named for Marvin and Helen Seibold, long time friends and supporters of the College. Marvin was a 1956 graduate of Jamestown College and served on the Board of Trustees for 24 years, 19 years as its Chairperson. Seibold Hall is an upper-classmen dorm which houses students in rooms of two. The building also has a beautiful lobby with an attached conference room.
Year Built: 1993
General Information: This building was named for R. G. and Lorraine Lyngstad, long time friends and supporters of the College. R. G. (Bob) served on the Jamestown College Board of Trustees for 24 years. Lyngstad Center is one of the main classroom buildings on the campus. It houses several department offices as well as the bookstore and post office.
Year Built: 1994
General Information: This building was named for Keith and Edith Prentice, long time friends and supporters of the College. Keith was a 1955 graduate of the College and a long-time optometrist in Jamestown. Edith is a 1956 graduate of the College and served on the Board of Trustees for 26 years. Prentice Hall is the newest dormitory on the campus and houses students in 4-person suites.
Reiland Fine Arts Center
Year Built: 2001
General Information: This building was named for Rose Mary Reiland who was the major benefactor. Rose Mary is a 1947 graduate of Jamestown College and is a member of the Jamestown College Alumni Association Board. The nearly 47,000 square foot facility houses the music, art, and theatre departments. The facility also boasts a 700-seat auditorium and a variety of other amenities.
Unruh and Sheldon Center for Business and Computer Science
Year Built: 2006
General Information: This building was made possible with gifts from lead donors Jim ’63 and Candy Unruh and Agnes Sheldon Griffin. Griffin made her gift in honor of her brother, Lloyd Sheldon (’44). The building houses the departments of Business, Accounting, and Economics and Computer Science and Technology. Features include a stock ticker panel in the lobby and dual monitors at computer workstations.
Badal Nafus Student Center
Year Built: 2007
General Information: Lead donors Ed ’63 and Elaine Nafus say the center represents their desire to do something for Jamestown College students. The focal point of the new space is a two-story atrium entrance leading into an open commons area.
The building was renamed Badal Nafus Center in 2018 to honor University President Robert Badal.
Foss Wellness Center
Year Built: 2008
General Information: The lead gift for this project came from the Drs. Merle L. and Peggy J. Foss Academic Enrichment Fund. The facility is an outstanding teaching and learning environment for students and faculty involved in physical education, and it also provides space for fitness activities.
Year Built: 2017
General Information: The lead gift for this project came from the Harold Newman Family. The design, meant to match the architecture from the oldest buildings on campus, features full windows for natural lighting, brick exterior and a bell tower to match Voorhees Chapel.
The interior features a large conferencing space, locker rooms, and a beautiful arena for the Jimmies to call home.