State Higher Education Commissioner Visits UMD For Proposed Bonding Projects Tour

The Duluth Campus Share of the Total Request is Under $18 Million.

DULUTH, Minn. – Gov. Dayton’s proposed bonding bill for the next session includes $28 million for University Minnesota Duluth (UMD).

The state’s higher education commissioner was on the UMD campus to see where some of the funding would go if the proposed bonding request is approved.

Some of the money UMD is asking for would be reinvested into facilities for research, outreach and education purposes.

Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller says the governor’s request is fairly high.

But there’s an expectation for the legislature to do more for the state’s universities than they have in recent years.

Last may Gov. Dayton approved a nearly $30 million bonding bill for UMD’s new chemistry building.

Part of UMD’s current request is $8.5 million to renew and re-purpose the old chemistry building.

“It’s a chemistry building,” said Pogemiller. “You need to reformulate and modernize that chemistry building, so that the students at that institution have a modern education.”

UMD isn’t stopping there.

The humanities building is one of the biggest problems on campus.

It sometimes gets as hot as 97 degrees inside that building which is potentially hazardous to student’s health.

So another $8.5 million is targeted to fix that.

“Upgrade classrooms, upgrade HVAC systems, just basic stuff that an average student might not even see, but we cancel class from time to time when Duluth gets hot,” said University of Minnesota Board of Regents Chair David McMillan.

Money to upgrade Ward Wells Field House and Anderson Hall are also part of the proposed bonding bill.

Four million dollars of this bonding request would also go toward the Glensheen Mansion, which is operated by UMD.

It would repair deteriorating structures and building systems that could eventually collapse or fail if repairs aren’t made soon.

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