Three ND colleges asking for fundraising campaigns

Nov 15, 2017

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Three North Dakota colleges want to start fundraising campaigns.

And they will be asking the state Board of Higher Education for permission.

Bismarck State College wants permission to raise $10 million for its expansion and relocation of its Health Science programs. BSC currently leases space in a converted warehouse building in downtown Bismarck, owned by the city of Bismarck. BSC vice-president Dave Clark told the Board's Budget and Finance Committee the college has a lease with the city through the summer of 2020.

"There is an option for the University of Mary to purchase this building," Clark said. "U-Mary has a master plan that shows in the future, U-Mary will have academic facilities in there. That'll happen sometime in the future."

Clark said the fundraising effort would include a $5.1 million renovation of a building close to campus. That building is owned by the BSC Foundation, and Clark said the college would lease space from the Foundation.

Meanwhile, Minot State University wants to replace the seating at the Dakota Dome.

Under the plan, Minot State would enter into a “Joint Powers Agreement” with the city of Minot to fund the project. The city would kick in $1 million, and the University would raise $500,000 from private sources..

University President Steve Shirley told the Committee this kind of arrangement has been done before – two years ago.

"The city of Minot donated $1 million toward an air-supported seasonal dome, that would cover our field during the winter months," Shirley said.

And Valley City State University is seeking permission to fundraise to repair its outdoor track and field facilities.

University System Director of Facilities Planning Rick Tonder told the Committee VCSU would like to raise $1.2 million to fix the outdoor track.

"It has developed a number of moguls (bumps)," Tonder said. "It is becoming somewhat unsafe."

Tonder said to completely repair it, there will have to be some deep digging and a lot of infrastructure work.

"It's going to be a spendy deal," Tonder said.

Committee member Greg Stemen said he understands the need.

"I'm sure it hosts a number of high school track meets," Stemen said. "If you're looking at liability issues, this seems to make sense. And private donations is a positive aspect of it."

All three will be considered by the full Board later this month.