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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published March 07 2010

Higher Education Notebook: Two Moorhead campus projects included in bill

Moorhead campuses are pleased with a proposed bonding bill that includes support for two major building projects.

The bill, as proposed by the House and Senate last week, includes $14.9 million to renovate Livingston Lord Library at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

It also includes

$5.4 million for a classroom and library addition at the Moorhead campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

“We’re very pleased,” said Daniel Kirk, MSUM vice president for facilities and administration. “I hope this thing gets signed.”

MSUM’s library is 50 years old and inefficient in terms of energy use and space use, Kirk said. In addition to library services, the building also is the main information technology hub.

“The design that we’re proposing would provide new infrastructure for the building and a much more efficient and effective design, effective in the sense that it will provide more convenient access to library and IT services for students,” Kirk said.

The MSCTC project is a multi-level addition that includes a library, 10 classrooms and some offices, said Matt Sheppard, director of college facilities.

It’s needed to keep up with the growth on the Moorhead campus, he said.

Neither project was included in Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s recommendation.

The bill also includes:

  • About $700,000 for projection equipment for MSUM’s planetarium.

  • About $550,000 to renovate the Oscar Bergos Auditorium at MSCTC-Moorhead to make it more accessible.

  • About $550,000 for two new science labs for the Moorhead MSCTC campus.

    The bill also has

    $52 million for Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement projects across the university system, which are used to maintain campus facilities.

    Of that total, the proposal has between $3 million and $4 million for MSUM and between $2 million and $3 million for MSCTC.

    Enrollment up

    Enrollment in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is at a record 197,576 students, nearly 8 percent over a year ago.

    At MSUM, the official spring enrollment increased by 60 students from a year ago, or nearly 1 percent.

    Enrollment at MSCTC is 6,406, an 8.9 percent increase over last spring’s 5,883. That includes enrollment for campuses in Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes and Wadena, and students taking online courses.

    Food pantry gift

    North Dakota State University’s Staff Senate gave more than $1,600 to the emergency food pantry last week.

    The staff members raised the money by selling 500 cookbooks with recipes submitted by university staff members.

    NDSCS ‘smiles’

    The “Give Kids a Smile” event hosted by the North Dakota State College of Science last month provided free dental care to 59 area children.

    The event, which involved NDSCS students and area dentists who volunteered their time, provided more than $24,000 in dental exams, fluoride treatments, fillings and other services. The event targeted people ages 3 to 20 who don’t have access to dental care.

    Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590 or adalrymple@forumcomm.com