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Published February 06 2011

Ask Your Government: How DSU works with facility

Dear Teri,

Hawks Point in Dickinson is somehow affiliated with the state university. Did the university use our tax dollars to build this rental unit? If so, how can they do that? Who profits from these rentals?

Barbara Massie

Dickinson

Thanks for writing! The university referred me to Dickinson State University Foundation CEO Kevin Thompson. For those unfamiliar with Hawks Point, I asked him to also provide some background in addition to answering the questions. Here’s what he said:

“Hawks Point is an independent and assisted-living community that is a foundation initiative, working with Dickinson State.

“The university has no dollars invested at all. The foundation leased land from the university to construct this facility.

“It was a vision of the foundation’s strategic plan in 1999. We opened the facility in March 2007. It was a way to retain and also recruit some of our senior residents to stay in western North Dakota and provide an outstanding link to the university, as the facility has three classrooms in the building.

“So, DSU students come and go throughout the day, five days a week. It’s trying to show or demonstrate that, from the time you’re born all the way through your senior adult life, you can be very active on the DSU campus.

“It provides employment possibilities for our students, (and) our music and theater departments are very active over there. Our football team has gone over and spent time shooting pool with the guys over there and talking about sports.

“It is a great link with our senior population with our up-and-coming leaders that are here at Dickinson State. It’s a much bigger, broader picture than just a facility.

“We have a little over 100 residents. There are 89 living units in the facility. There are several married couples.

“The lease with the university stated that we had to build a senior retirement village. We couldn’t do anything else there. It was very specific.”

Do you have a question for a state government official or agency? Send us your question, and we’ll do our best to find an answer.

E-mail politics@wday.com (Subject: Ask your government).

You may also write to Teri Finneman c/o Forum Communications, Press Room, State Capitol, Bismarck, ND 58505.

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Teri Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications Co.