Two Senators holding out hope for campus building projects

Mar 2, 2017

Sen. Larry Robinson (D-Valley City).
Credit ND Legislature

Sen. Ron Sorvaag (R-Fargo).
Credit ND Legislature

Supporters of replacing buildings on the Valley City State University and NDSU campuses say they hope to keep the discussions alive – until the new state revenue forecast is issued March 9th.

VCSU wants to replace Foss Hall, the fine arts building – which will be on the wrong side of the proposed Sheyenne River dike. That building was the only one to make the list in the Board of Higher Education’s budget request.

NDSU wants to replace Dunbar Hall.

Neither project was approved when the Senate passed the higher-ed budget.

But the building supporters aren’t giving up.

"That's an on-going discussion," said Sen. Larry Robinson (D-Valley City), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "We hope to have further clarification on the direction we will take once we get the March 9th fiscal report."

Sen. Ron Sorvaag (R-Fargo), also a member of Senate Appropriations, said Dunbar Hall needs to be rebuilt.

"To refit the present building, or refit another building, just about reaches cost-prohibitive status," Sorvaag said. "Yoy should just as well build new."

Sorvaag said there have been suggestions of a trigger mechanism – so if state revenues exceed expectations by a certain amount, the building projects can go forward.

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