ST. CLOUD - Eastman Hall is St. Cloud State University's fourth oldest building and holds a significant amount of campus history behind closed doors.

It was constructed next to the Mississippi River in 1929 after the Minnesota State Legislature devoted $225,000 for the building.

The building was named after former St. Cloud resident director to the State College Board - Alvah Eastman. 

Eastman Hall holds the original school gymnasium and swimming pool and was also the venue for St. Cloud State basketball games. The first official basketball game was held on January 10th 1931, when St. Cloud State lost to St. John’s University 33-24.

Eastman Hall continued to be the center for physical education and indoor athletics until Halenbeck Hall opened its doors in 1965.

Eastman Hall hasn't been used recently and is closed off to students. Taking a tour through the building you can still see that it's structurally in good shape. The basketball court with an old St. Cloud State logo remains intact. The swimming pool sits empty but is a hidden gem in the building with artwork and designs on the walls.

However, St. Cloud State isn’t ready to part ways with the historic building. The University is asking the State Legislature for bonding money to renovate Eastman Hall, and even though the building is over 80 years old-it’s still structurally in great shape. John Frischmann, the Director of Facilities Management at St. Cloud State says the shell of the building has stood the test of time.

"The brick work is in great shape, there are very few cracks in the walls and beams," Frischmann says.

The University is looking for $865,000 in the bonding bill for the planning of the remodel. If they get the money for the planning purposed, they will then ask the State Legislature for an additional $16 million in 2016 for construction.

If the bonding money is granted, the University would like to Co-located 4-health related programs into the building. The programs would be the School of Health and Human Services Human Performance Lab, Student Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services and the U-Choose Program.


Dan DeBaun, WJON News