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Bonding Proposal Would Boost Higher Education in Northeastern Minnesota

5/5/2014 10:14:43 AM


On Friday, May 2, Minnesota Office of Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller and Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben visited Itasca Community College to receive a tour of the campus's facilities.

Governor Dayton's higher education bonding bill continues to be the focus of a statewide tour, with visits this week at campuses in Ely, International Falls, Hibbing and Grand Rapids.

Larry Pogemiller, Commissioner of the Office of Higher Education (OHE), and Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED, spent time visiting four campuses in the Northeastern Minnesota.

In his State of the State Address, Governor Dayton outlined the need for increasing support for Minnesota's state colleges and Universities. "The State's current bonding levels do not adequately support the improvements that both MnSCU and the U of M must make in their existing physical plants, in new buildings, and in state-of-the-art equipment and technologies -- to continue to attract the best students and give them the best possible educations."

The Governor has recommended $3.34 million for projects at these four campuses, including the renovation of classroom and lab spaces, as well as the installation of a biomass boiler system at Itasca.

"The colleges of the Northeast Higher Education District not only provide strong academic programs for their students, they are also integral to the economic viability of the region," said Pogemiller. "These recommended investments will allow them to continue to educate their students in up-to-date classrooms and labs, as well as address pressing infrastructure issues."

"Our highly-educated and productive workforce is our greatest asset in Minnesota, and we must continue to provide learning environments for continued growth," said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. "The proposed funding for the Northeast Higher Education District will provide infrastructure support for the classroom and lab spaces needed for our future workers."

Upcoming visits include Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical in Red Wing, and Winona State University, among others.

Governor Dayton's Capital Investment bill includes $233 million for higher education projects at the University of Minnesota and MnSCU campuses.

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