OFS Creates Synergetic Learning Environment for Business School

Mar 30, 2023   |   OFS | Carolina

Nistler Hall | University of North Dakota


Thanks to generous donations from the Nistler family, the University of North Dakota built Nistler Hall, a step toward becoming a leader in business education to complement their history of excellence in Aeroscience and Health Sciences education. Nistler Hall, home to Nistler College of Business and Public Administration, is a dynamic space designed to attract and retain key talent at UND. 

Nistler Hall was designed as three integrated, adaptable engagement hubs where students, faculty, and community would come to learn, but stay to connect and focus even after classes were complete. Its open layout, nature-inspired palette, and modern style make the building a natural hub for community engagement and development.

At A Glance

Project Name:
University of North Dakota: Nistler Hall Grand Forks, ND

Create a more open and collaborative learning environment for students within the business school.

Through the use of a cooperative contract with OMNIA Partners and OFS, the University of North Dakota was able to create Nistler Hall.


What was the design vision for the space and why?

The team for Nistler Hall wanted to create a place that would attract students, empower them, and adapt to meet their needs. 

To empower and inspire students, they used a modern aesthetic, large windows, and a variety of workstations ranging from soft seating to booths. Many of the seating selections are also mobile, allowing students to reconfigure the space as needed. 

Classrooms off the main hub can also be shifted to have an open or closed layout using a garage-style foldable door to provide space division when necessary.

The design team carefully considered technology as well, incorporating glass walls that can shift from clear to opaque at the click of a button. All classrooms also have integrated audio and video equipment to support fully flex learning as education styles transform. 

To provide students with a connection to nature, Nistler Hall even added an outdoor oasis (for the summer) and indoor walkways between buildings during the winter months so that students always have visual and physical access to the outdoors, no matter the weather. 

College Students Collaborating

You step back and think...thousands, tens of thousands of students will be impacted by timeless learning environment that so many people came together to create for them. You can't help but feel pride. It's very humbling to look around and see: wow, this many people believed in us and believed in the vision that was decades in the making.

– Amy Henley | Dean at University of North Dakota


The University of North Dakota wanted to demonstrate their commitment to their business school and step forward as a leader in business development. Their previous building, Gamble Hall, was outdated and more closed off, making collaborative or hybrid work difficult to achieve. Spaces that encouraged a synergetic learning environment were needed to create optimal circumstances for collaborative and independent learning.



Through a partnership with the state of North Dakota, the Nistler family, and over 250 separate donors, JLG Architects designed Nistler Hall to be a fresh, bright, inspiring space that would build confidence and bring people together. Through the use of the competitively solicited and publicly award cooperative contract with OMNIA Partners and OFS, the University of North Dakota was able to receive discounted pricing and save time during the buying process.

Today, there are over 62 separate spaces designed to meet the college’s needs. The design team recognized the generous donations and support from the community by highlighting many of the names throughout the building. As visitors walk the space, each zone tells a story of those who made the beautiful space possible.

To read the original case study, click here.


More Information on OFS & OMNIA Partners

OFS, through OMNIA Partners, Public Sector, offers eligible public agencies access to a wide variety of furniture products and solutions. Through the use of the competitively solicited and public award contract with OFS and OMNIA Partners, agencies are offered consistent, competitive pricing, while accelerating the buying process.

OMNIA Partners is the largest and most experienced organization in procurement and supply chain management. Covering both the private and public sectors, OMNIA Partners unites industry-leading buying power and world-class suppliers to offer an extensive portfolio of sourcing solutions and partnerships.

Here should be a form, apparently your browser blocks our forms.

Do you use an adblocker? If so, please try turning it off and reload this page.