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MSU bill would kick off construction

jschramm@minotdailynews.com

A bill that would enable Minot State University to move forward with a new art gallery and other improvement projects is getting a hearing before the North Dakota Senate Appropriations Committee today.

Senate Bill 2242, introduced by Sen. Karen Krebsbach with co-sponsorhip by five other Minot legislators, would allow spending of $2.28 million on three projects. The breakdown is $1.4 million for the Gordon B. Olson Library art center, $634,000 toward an air-supported seasonal dome at Herb Parker Stadium and $250,000 to finish a facilities building.

The library project, being funded with money from a completed capital campaign, could become a significant campus attraction, MSU President Steve Shirley said. The renovation of the lower level of the library into an art center will create a permanent home for the works of Minot artist Walter Piehl as well as provide display area for other artwork, including pieces kept in storage for lack of display space.

The center also will have meeting space.

The $634,000 for the athletic facility would pay for a concrete foundation for a seasonal dome. The money is part of the overall $2 million cost for the dome. A $1 million grant from the Minot Community Facilities Fund and fundraising efforts are providing the financing.

The $250,000 for the facilities building project is largely to pave a parking lot and perform other exterior work so the building can be used for fleet cars and facilities personnel. MSU began work after receiving a $1.7 million state appropriation in 2013. Soil testing later revealed issues that affected the construction process and resulted in more cost and a delay in completion. MSU now has money in cash reserves to finish the work, Shirley said.

SB 2242 declares an emergency, which would enable MSU to begin construction immediately if passed by two-thirds of each House and signed by the governor. Shirley said the goal is to complete all three projects by fall.

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