Why the University of Minn. wants to renovate Northrop

AlexiusHoratius via Wikimedia Commons

It's not the outside that's the problem

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!

If you didn't catch Tim Post's MPR piece on the planned renovation of Northrop, here's a link to the Web story and the audio.

It's a huge undertaking -- $80 million -- especially considering the U's budget problems.

The planned change is dramatic, the way Post describes it:

The 4,800-seat auditorium would shrink by half. That will make room for several departments, like the honors program, to set up offices in the building. It would also create study space for students, enough to double the amount of public study space on campus.

Overhauling its aging innards sounds like a daunting task. What might be even more daunting: finding a way to make it relevant to student life, according to Post's report.

Students and faculty have little reason to go into Northrop. (Rosenstone) said it's a like a rock in a stream, everyone goes around the building on their way to someplace else. In fact, Northrop is used less than 100 days a year.