The state Board of Higher Education has given UND permission to issue up to $80 million in bonds for a new Student Union.
But the actual cost may be less than that.
UND students voted to approve the project, with the bond payoff to come from increased student fees.
Interim UND President Josh Wynne had asked the staff to take another look at the proposal – because he was concerned about increased student debt load. But he told the Board he supports the project.
"Even mindful of the changes going on in higher education, having a campus that is an attractive environment for interaction among students and faculty will continue to be important," Wynne said.
UND Vice president for finance and operations Jed Shivers said how much can be saved will depend on the final building design.
"We'll see," Shivers said in an interview." The truth is, it's a multi-phase process."
Shivers said following the design stage comes bids.
"That's where we'll see whether or not in fact we're able to make any material differences in the overall cost of the project," Shivers said.
The Board also authorized UND to tear down the existing student union. Shivers said demolition could start within a week’s time.