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Minnesota House DFLers Highlight Bonding Projects at BSU

Article by: Catherine Silver, Lakeland Public Television

Legislators from the Minnesota House of Representatives visited Bemidji State University today to highlight session progress and bonding projects. While in town, House Speaker Paul Thissen and representatives Roger Erickson and John Persell learned more about Bemidji State University’s Memorial Hall renovation project, which could be included in the state bonding bill.

The renovation project includes remodeling Memorial Hall and Decker Hall, and demolishing Sanford Hall. Bill Maki, vice president for finance and administration at BSU, shared details of the project, saying, “We’ll be moving our business and our accounting programs into this building. What is now the gym will have state of the art active learning classrooms.”

The idea is to upgrade the facilities, attract more students, and centralize academic programs. Thissen said it the renovation project is important because the university needs to make the experience better for students so that more people are attracted to BSU and working in Minnesota.

The legislators and BSU administrators believe the renovation project will not only help BSU, but also the community as a whole.

“Our university and our education I believe has a $2 million dollar impact to our community on  an annual basis,” said Maki. “A vibrant university and a vibrant community play off one another, and keeping our facilities up to date and using them means being able to attract a very healthy and vibrant student body.”

If the project is funded through the bonding bill, construction will begin July 2014.

View the original article and accompanying video at Lakeland Public Television.