BEMIDJI, Minn. – Two projects at Bemidji State University were part of a recommended $129 million appropriation for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) in a captial budget recommendation released this morning by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Bemidji State’s proposed renovation and expansion of Sattgast Hall and the renovation of lab space for nursing were part of the Governor’s 2008 bonding recommendation, which totaled $1.09 billion.
“We are pleased that our top two bonding requests were included in the Governor’s capital budget recommendations released today,” BSU Vice President for Finance and Administration Bill Maki said. “It is an important first step for us in securing the funds to move forward with these important projects. We will continue to work hard for the rest of the legislative session to obtain funding for these projects and the other Bemidji State projects on the MnSCU capital project priority list. Those projects include the acquisition of the old Bemidji High School property, Maple Hall demolition and Higher Education Asset Preservation funds.”
• Sattgast Hall
Bemidji State’s Sattgast Hall building addition and renovation was ranked fifth on MnSCU’s bonding request to the Minnesota legislature. The $8.9 million project will provide a safe, flexible and interactive learning environment for BSU students. The project includes a 21,600 square foot addition to the 46-year-old building, renovation of more than 8,300 square feet of space for nursing, botany, and anatomy and physiology and decomissioning of the Peters Aquatic Lab.
The renovated Sattgast Hall will not only provide increased flexibility and support for current faculty and students, but also will open the door for future program expansion in the areas of allied health and science. Labs, offices and classrooms will be added for Bemidji State’s growing nursing program, and existing science and health programs will see growth due to the renovation and improved use of space.
• Science lab renovations
The remodeling of a 6,400 square foot lab at Bemidji State falls under a $5.775 million recommendation for lab renovations across MnSCU, listed as the system’s No. 9 priority in its bonding request. The renovation will create one large lab and several smaller adjacent labs to provide space for hands-on clinical procedures skills for nursing students. The addition of this space will help Bemidji State implement a four-year generic baccalaureate nursing program to complement its current four-year RN program.
Bemidji State is also likely to benefit from a system-wide $40 million recommended appropriation for repair and replacement projects on the 32 MnSCU campuses. These funds for Higher Education Asset Preservation will be used to maintain and reinvest in physical assets at all colleges and universities within the MnSCU system. The funds will provide roof replacement; heating, ventilation and HVAC repair and replacement; safety, code compliance and life safety projects; and replacement of other items that have reached the end of their useful lives.
About the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 240,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 135,000 students in non-credit courses.
For further information about the system, visit its Web site at: http://www.mnscu.edu.