Posted: May 30, 2003

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will begin major renovations and construction on campuses throughout the state as a result of the Minnesota Legislature's approval of $59.7 million in capital projects for the system. The system's projects are included in a bonding bill approved in special session Thursday and sent to Gov. Tim Pawlenty for his signature.

"We are very gratified that the Minnesota Legislature saw fit to support our students and fund these projects," Chancellor James H. McCormick said.

The bill includes the system's 17 projects that had been in a bill passed by the 2002 Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Jesse Ventura. The projects, which will allow the system to renovate science and nursing labs and make needed improvements to classrooms, are located in every region of the state.

"If the governor signs the bill, we will move forward as quickly as possible to get the projects under way," McCormick said. "The timing is very advantageous for us. Not only can we create jobs in the short term, thus aiding in the state's economic recovery, but we can save taxpayer money by getting very reasonable bids when financing rates are at a 40-year low."

McCormick noted that the improvements are coming when enrollment is at an all-time high and is expected to continue growing.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system serves approximately 235,000 students annually in credit-based courses and another 130,000 in non-credit courses. The system comprises 33 state universities, community colleges, technical colleges and combined community and technical colleges located on 53 campuses across the state.

Major bonding bill projects include:

  • $10 million for renovation of Centennial Hall at St. Cloud State University
  • $8.4 million for student athletic and academic facilities at Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • $9.2 million to renovate the library at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall
  • $10 million for land acquisition, including property next to the Minneapolis Community and Technical College in downtown Minneapolis
  • $6.3 million for lab and classroom renovations at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington
  • $5.5 million for science lab and classroom renovations at Mesabi Range Community and Technical College in Virginia

Other projects:

  • $1 million for design for co-location, Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College, Bemidji
  • $400,000 to design an allied health and applied technology addition and remodeling at Northwest Technical College, Moorhead
  • $2 million to remodel wings at Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie
  • $700,000 for design of an academic and student services addition at Lake Superior College, Duluth
  • $580,000 for design and remodeling of student services space at Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical, Red Wing and Winona
  • $500,000 for design of information technology and telecommunications academic space at Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount
  • $700,000 to design a classroom and lab addition and remodeling at St. Cloud Technical College
  • $2.9 million to remodel science laboratories at Ridgewater College in Willmar and Hutchinson
  • $300,000 for lab renovation at South Central College in North Mankato and Faribault
  • $760,000 for design of a classroom addition and student services space at Fergus Falls Community College
  • $500,000 for design of a student services addition at Inver Hills Community College

The bonding bill provided a glimmer of hope in a legislative session that also passed a higher education funding bill that cut $189 million from the 2003-2005 adjusted base budget for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and cut an additional $2.5 million in the state government bill.

Note: For more detail on the individual projects, see Constructing Opportunity, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities 2002 capital budget request publication, available online or by contacting Public Affairs at (651) 297-2720.