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Published December 27, 2009, 07:29 PM

Part of historic building on NDSU campus collapses

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Part of a historic building on the North Dakota State campus collapsed Sunday amid an ongoing expansion project. A large section of the north side of Minard Hall gave way between midnight and 3 a.m., leaving a gaping hole in the century-old building.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Part of a historic building on the North Dakota State campus collapsed Sunday amid an ongoing expansion project.

A large section of the north side of Minard Hall gave way between midnight and 3 a.m., leaving a gaping hole in the century-old building.

Campus facilities manager Bruce Franz told radio station KFGO the four-story, brick building had been undergoing an expansion project over the past several weeks. A construction crew had been excavating under the part of the building that collapsed.

The excavation likely weakened the soil there, causing the foundation to collapse, Franz said.

Campus police discovered the damage about 3:15 a.m. Sunday. Officers noticed steam coming from Minard Hall and went to investigate.

No one was in the building at the time.

Campus staff and officials from the construction firm and fire department were on the scene Sunday morning. Franz said crews will be working Sunday to restore the foundation.

Damage to the Minard Hall is still being assessed. Campus officials have restricted access to the building, which houses classrooms and offices.

Minard Hall, originally named Science Hall, was built in three stages. The first part was built for the start of the 1902-03 school year at a cost of about $25,000, according to the NDSU Web site.

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