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Stoxen expansion recommended

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local Dickinson, 58602
The Dickinson Press
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Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

Funding for a 40,000 square foot addition to Dickinson State University's Stoxen Library will be recommended to the state Legislature for the 2011 to 2013 biennium, said Richard McCallum, DSU president.

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The issue was discussed at a State Board of Higher Education meeting Thursday.

About $600,000 for other projects, including a parking lot renovation, was secured from the State Board of Higher Education earlier this month, he added.

Funding for the library renovation was thought to have been secured earlier this year. However, the State Treasurer's Office had made an accounting error and funds in fact were not available.

"So what we have done is we have resubmitted Stoxen Library as our No. 1 construction request for the next biennium," McCallum said.

The addition is estimated to cost about $10.5 million, said Alvin Binstock, vice president for business affairs.

The Board of Higher Education reportedly put the project low on their priority list, rating it 24 out of 25 state-funded projects for Legislature to consider.

DSU's second priority for construction is renovating the existing library, McCallum added. This is estimated to cost about $5.8 million, Binstock said.

"The board is only moving our No. 1 request forward, so the renovation will have to be a request that is submitted in a different cycle," McCallum said. "I understand and respect the board process and certainly support it."

The Board of Higher Education also authorized DSU's request for $400,000 for construction on the parking lot in front of the Badlands Activity Center and agriculture facilities, McCallum said.

"The parking lot is to use $400,000 of our existing budget," he said. "We have that money already authorized, so we will move forward with that project later this summer and fall."

However, DSU officials expect it to cost at least twice that much to finish the repairs.

"We're anticipating the repair of the parking lot to run in excess of $800,000, based on initial estimates, so what we're trying to do is extend that repair over a two-biennium period," Binstock said. "And then we would like to complete that project after July 1, 2011."

A portion of the parking lot will be repaved this year, and the rest will be repaved as more funding becomes available, he added.

"In stage one, we will want to do an analysis of the drainage and we'll want to do an analysis and develop a plan for lighting, and then we want to repave part of that total area," McCallum said.

The State Board of Higher Education also authorized an additional $200,000 to be allocated for ongoing renovation of Stickney Hall, McCallum said.

Heating, cooling and ventilation systems will be updated, the student health services area will be modified and the exterior of the building will be improved as part of the project, Binstock said.

The board authorized DSU to spend just over $1 million on renovations in November, he added.

"We ended up basically soliciting estimates and so forth and it looked like we were approaching the $1,033,000 authorization level, leaving not much at all for contingency, and we knew with a building this vintage that we would need additional contingency funds to address what we were going to find," Binstock said.

The underestimation in costs led DSU officials to request the extra funding, McCallum said.

At Thursday's meeting, several smaller projects were also approved to be recommended for Legislature to consider in the next biennium, McCallum said.

"We have seven projects -- all $250,000 or less -- and what we're hoping to do is improve a number of maintenance issues that we would like to correct," McCallum said.

Brauhn takes new position

Dickinson State University's Dr. Richard Brauhn, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college of arts and sciences, will take on a new role, DSU officials said Thursday.

He will begin working as the director of special projects and reports, said Dr. Richard McCallum, president of DSU.

"It's a new position that I've asked Dr. Brauhn to serve in," McCallum said.

Brauhn will have several assignments, including coordinating a Chernobyl Symposium and helping McCallum plan for the future, McCallum said.

"We're going to be working on a progress report relative to things that we've accomplished this past year, and we'll be preparing that and presenting that to the chancellor a little bit later in the summer," McCallum said.

Brauhn will also be teaching one class per semester. He is exited about his new role.

"I haven't taught a course for a while, and that was my first love," Brauhn said. "I'm very appreciative of that and I will enjoy my time in the classroom."

It has been over 10 years since Brauhn has been in the classroom, he said. He has worked in higher education for 40 years and has dedicated 20 of those years to DSU, he added.

Brauhn's move into the position will open two positions, McCallum said.

"We're going to do two searches -- one will be for the vice president for academic affairs and one will be for the dean of the school of arts and science," McCallum said. "It was a recommendation from the higher learning commission's last accreditation review. It's something that we wanted to be able to accomplish before our next higher learning commission accreditation."

John Brudvig, director of the Theodore Roosevelt honors leadership program, will serve as the interim vice president of academic affairs and continue in his current position as well, McCallum said.

"I think this is a good move for both myself and the university," Brauhn said, adding he can act as a mentor to those who fill his position.

The goal is to have both positions filled by next summer, McCallum said.

-- Ashley Martin

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