Regents’ funding request for multiple projects granted


Julie Frank, Community News Service

The Board of Regents (BOR) request for authorization to construct multiple projects on the SDSU campus was granted by the Senate on Feb. 20.

The Senate denied the BOR authorization to construct a new dairy manufacturing plant at SDSU and to replace storage facilities at Cottonwood Agriculture Experiment Station on Feb. 13.

A vote to reconsider the bills brought them back to life and the Senate passed them.

A newly proposed dairy manufacturing plant is estimated to cost $9.8 million. Funds generated by SDSU that include both state and national donations will pay for the project, according to Mike Reger, executive vice president for the administration.

State Sen. Orville Smidt, R-Brookings, supported the bill because the 21,000 square feet facility encourages economic development in both the state and region.

According to State Rep. Larry Tidemann, R-Brookings, the current facility-built in 1962-is outdated and fails to prepare students for after graduation.

The BOR also planned to replace the seed house, machine shed and storage shed with new buildings and to construct a hoop barn at Cottonwood Agriculture Experiment Station in Jackson County.

Cottonwood Agriculture Experiment Station was established in 1907 and is part of SDSU’s Department of Animal and Range Science. It covers 2,640 acres and conducts soil, crop and cattle research.

Reger said the project’s goal is to update the station and make it functional.

The project was estimated to cost $200,000 and would not have included any state general funding.

On Feb. 20, the Senate also authorized an athlete development center and the construction of public restrooms at McCrory Gardens.

The athlete development center is estimated to cost $6 million and be paid for by funds generated by SDSU, according to Reger. The school has already raised the $6 million.

Reger said the center is designed to meet athletic and academic needs. It includes an academic support center for athletes, a weight room, locker rooms, a rehabilitation center and offices for football, baseball, track and softball personnel.

The building will be to be two to three stories high and 2,600 square feet, according to Reger.

In addition, the BOR was granted authorization to build restrooms at McCrory Gardens.

The project is estimated to cost $50,000.

The restrooms are planned to be built in the southwest corner of the gardens. “It will not be a big project but it will be much appreciated,” Reger said.

McCrory Gardens was established in the 1960s. The gardens provide students hands-on learning and horticulture research.

All four bills now go to Gov. Mike Rounds for final consideration.