Anoka-Ramsey breaking ground and rebuilding 

The Business and Nursing building at the Anoka-Ramsey Coon Rapids campus is being remodeled.


Anthony Erickson

Left to right: Anoka-Ramsey Facilities Director Ken Karr, Anoka-Ramsey Business Instructor Susan Eyre, Anoka-Ramsey Vice President of Administration and Finance Don Lewis, Senator Jerry Newton, Anoka-Ramsey President Kent Hanson, Representative Zack Stephenson, Minnesota State Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities Bill Maki, Anoka-Ramsey Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Sandra Kohler, Leo A Daly Senior Architect Adam Luckhardt, Anoka-Ramsey Interim Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Steve Crittenden.

Anthony Erickson, Editor

On May 26, the Anoka Ramsey Coon Rapids Campus held a groundbreaking ceremony to start initiate a project that has taken over a decade to begin.  

Contractors officially started construction on June 1, and scheduled for completion in the 2022 summer. 

The ceremony was held outside, in between the Business and Nursing and Performance Theatre buildings. 

While chairs were lined outside, some chose to stand around them instead—a quiet action that spoke loudly of learned social distancing practices marked by COVID. 

“This project will be an important asset to the college as we prepare for workforce of tomorrow,” said Vice President of Administration and Finance Don Lewis, the first to speak. 

Five “state of the art” and “highly flexible” nursing simulation labs will be installed. These labs will provide students active learning and application of nursing theory for the current health care industry. 

The $16.3 million project was funded by the 2020 Minnesota Bonding Bill. It went through six predesigns between 2010 and 2020 before being approved.  

“It will create the environment to enhance the business programs, partnerships community business and our 4-year academic partners,” Lewis said. 

The newly refurbished building will also give the college ability to increase nursing enrollments.  

Dr. Sandra Kohler, Dean of Nursing, expressed her thanks towards nursing students speaking out about their academic needs.  

“They have survived COVID, and they survived years of a building that didn’t meet their needs, and this building will meet their needs,” said Kohler. 

Susan Kohler speaking at the May 26 groundbreaking ceremony, outside the Business and Nursing building at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.
This photo of Susan Kohler, which the Campus Eye obtained from YouTube, has been authenticated based on its contents and other Campus Eye reporting.

While the building undergoes construction, the college will be down 12 classrooms. However, classes have been relocated either in the college or taken online. 

“It will be a bit of a disruptive year, but the outcome will be great for us,” said President Kent Hanson.  

The Business and Nursing building was the second to be constructed at Anoka Ramsey and dates back to the 1970s. 

The project will impact approximately 34,500 square feet of space.  

Along with the improvements, $5 million of deferred maintenance will be addressed in the building such as the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.  

The building will be more energy efficient contributing to Anoka-Ramsey’s commitment to sustainability.

“To apply learned skills is essential to the health care in this state, and it is also essential to meeting the learning needs of our diverse students,” Kohler later added.