Tuition bump to fund repairs

Julie Frank

Julie Frank

South Dakota State University students will pitch in $1.12 per credit hour for much-needed repairs to campus buildings, according to the South Dakota Board of Regents.

The money will help cover the cost of $4.8 million in bonds issued by the state to pay for building repairs, said Dean Kattelmann, director of the SDSU physical plant.

The state has designated a total of $8.6 million to improve building on campuses across South Dakota.

House Bill 1101, which authorized the bond issue, called for “… the construction, completion, furnishing, equipping, and maintaining … repair projects selected by the Board of Regents as critical to facility safety and function … on the university campuses … .”

A bond is similar to a loan. Over a period of 20 years, student tuition fees will pay back the money borrowed. In order for the school to pay back the bond, tuition will increase an estimated 6 to 7 percent, according to Alex Brown, Students’ Association president.

“It’s a fairly good idea,” said Molly Seidel, a sophomore nursing major. She added that not being able to study in quality buildings is unproductive.

Paul Johnson, a sophomore biology major added, “It’s funny to have a building nicknamed “the dungeon.” A high-end university wouldn’t have those buildings.”

Both Seidel and Johnson said repairs were needed in both Solberg and Shepard halls.

However, not all students agree.

“It feels like we are already paying a lot,” said Susan Puetz, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major. “I understand you have to keep up the quality of the school, but can’t they find different ways?”

The money will contribute to a variety of repairs needed on campus, Kattelmann said. Some of those include repairing the Frost Arena steps, the elevator in Pugsley and fire alarm systems.

“We look how we can get the biggest bang for our buck,” he said.

He added that, without certain repairs, such as utilities, the buildings would not be able to function.

Each year, the university tries to fix up one to two classrooms. Last year Wintrode Student Success Center was equipped with two classrooms. In addition, new seating was added to classrooms in the Rotunda. Also, the roofs of Crothers and the Seedhouse were repaired.

“We know we have building problems, we can’t fix them all,” Kattelmann said about the university’s never-ending list of repairs.

When it comes to fixing buildings, Kattelmann and Brown agree safety is the main priority.

Students will benefit from the bond in many ways, Brown said. The repairs will provide students with a safer and more comfortable environment. In addition, the repairs will approve the overall campus appearance.

#1.883386:1276033242.jpg:Brown,Alex.jpg:Alex Brown, Students’ Association President: