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North Dakota Youth Correctional Center (YCC) (State Industrial Training School, North Dakota State Reform School)

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1903 established; master plan, Morell and Nichols; 1926 Sunnyside Barn. 1701 16th Ave. SW
  • (Photograph by Steve C. Martens)

Established in 1903 as the North Dakota State Reform School, this campus is one of many state institutions to benefit from the master planning of Minneapolis-based landscape architects Morell and Nichols. Like many of the firm’s campus designs, this is a sensitive balance between the informality of the natural setting—here adjacent to the Heart River where a natural draw funnels down from surrounding bluffs—and the axial formality of a densely landscaped drive. Landscape plantings have been carefully implemented to form courtyards for many of the building groupings. In 1938, the State Industrial Training School became a youth correctional center offering high school classes, and one of only four juvenile justice centers in the nation that housed both boys and girls. The current campus includes four cottages, administration and education facilities, gymnasium with indoor swimming pool, chapel, and cafeteria, all designed by North Dakota architects. By converting one cottage into a secured facility for high-risk juvenile offenders, the campus avoids enclosure with a conspicuous wall or security fence. The facility was renamed the North Dakota Youth Correctional Center in 1995.

In 1923, the State Industrial Training School acquired a 634-acre farmstead located west of its main campus, called Sunnyside Farm. It allowed the school to greatly expand its agricultural vocational training and each year a small group of students from the school was selected to live and work at the farm. In 1926, after the barn on the newly acquired property was destroyed by fire, the staff designed a replacement structure that was built by the students. The new building was touted as a model dairy barn and quickly became the central focus of the school’s agricultural activities.

Writing Credits

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay


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Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "North Dakota Youth Correctional Center (YCC) (State Industrial Training School, North Dakota State Reform School)", [Mandan, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 160-161.

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