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Bison Sports Arena renovation approved

BISMARCK — After several years, countless meetings and fundraising quests, the North Dakota State basketball programs finally got the news it wanted to hear: The Bison Sports Arena renovation is 100 percent approved.

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The unanimous vote from the budget section of the North Dakota Legislature on Wednesday will allow the Sanford Health Athletic Complex to begin construction. That approval was needed because the cost of the project at $41 million exceeded the earlier $35.4 approval of the Legislature.

The North Dakota State Development Foundation this fall said it will guarantee funding to finalize the project.

“It’s been 10 years since we’ve been talking about it,” said NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor, who made a presentation in front of the committee.

The main section of the renovation — the 5,700-seat Scheels Center — is expected to move NDSU to more of a Division I-like arena. The arena opened in 1971.

NDSU obtained the approval of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education last month.

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