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UND raising $6 million for shared spaces

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DEVILS LAKE -- The University of North Dakota will begin raising $6 million after being granted permission by the State Board of Higher Education to create more collaborative learning spaces on campus.

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Spokesman Peter Johnson said there are no concrete plans for fundraising or even for the types of spaces the university will create, but that the school wanted the board’s permission to start raising money for something it could achieve, rather than for something the board could later turn down.

“It allows us to start envisioning,” he said.

The space, or multiple spaces, will be similar to the school’s current lounges and collaborative learning rooms, but will be designed with the idea of giving students spaces where they feel comfortable learning and teaching each other.

“It’s kind of like the kind of space you could find in a student union, but it’s going to be more defined than ‘Here’s a bunch of couches and TVs,’ ” Johnson said.

University President Robert Kelley also said at Thursday’s board meeting that progress on other expansion projects, such as the new medical and law school buildings, are on schedule.

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