Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton yesterday recommended nearly $14 million in funding for a project to renovate facilities for the business and accounting programs at Bemidji State University.
The recommendation was part of a $986 million bonding proposal that will invest in infrastructure projects across the state, intended to help address the state’s critical needs while strengthening the state’s economy.
“My proposals will put thousands of Minnesotans to work throughout our state,” said Governor Dayton. “This bill gives priority to projects that are ready to go. Many of them have been delayed for years and are crucial to revitalizing downtown business centers, modernizing MnSCU and U of M buildings and classrooms, and improving parks, roads, and local infrastructure.”
The governor recommended $13.69 million for the university to renovate, remodel and demolish several buildings on campus, which will be transformed into state-of-the art classrooms and multifunctional spaces for the departments of business and accounting. This will also eliminate a substantial deferred maintenance backlog at the university.
This project will include the renovation and remodeling of Memorial and Decker halls, the demolition of Sanford Hall, and design work for a future demolition of Hagg-Sauer Hall. The project will enhance the university’s ability to provide industry-appropriate facilities in the academic core of campus and establish a stronger identity and physical presence for the university’s business and accounting programs.
In total, the governor’s recommendation includes $151 million for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities projects, with $114 million coming from bonds and $37 million from user financing.
The governor has recommended that the system receive $40 million for higher education asset preservation and repair (HEAPR), which will address mechanical, plumbing and electrical system needs; roof, window and building exterior repairs; and life safety and code compliance projects on a number of the system’s campuses.
“The Governor’s bonding proposal makes construction projects for higher education a top priority and recognizes the critical role Minnesota’s state colleges and universities play in providing access to an extraordinary education for Minnesotans from all backgrounds and every part of the state,” said MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “These investments will help ensure that our graduates have the skills needed to keep Minnesota globally competitive.We appreciate the Governor’s support of our students and the communities we serve.”