Minnesota October Surprise
Last week during the fifth special legislative session of the year, the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate passed the largest bonding bill in state history. While our national and even state politics can often feel highly divisive, the $1.9 million bill was passed by the House on a bipartisan vote of 100-43 and the Senate 64-3.
Included in the bill was over $90 million in investments in the Minnesota State, $46 million of which was invested in Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) funds. HEAPR was the number one priority for Minnesota States 2020 capital request during the 2020 legislative session. These funds will be used to repair and replace existing building systems to ensure they our colleges buildings provide warm, safe, and dry environments to learn. This includes things like fixing roofs, repairing damage to building interiors, improving indoor air quality, and updating electrical systems.
The remaining $44 million included in the bonding bill for Minnesota State was dedicated to four community and technical college projects. The completion of these projects and the expanded academic capacity and services they will provide is critical to supporting student success and degree completion.
Anoka Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids: Business and Nursing Building Renovation. $16,282,000
This funding will help renovate classrooms and labs in the Business and Nursing building, helping to provide additional capacity allowing the nursing program to expand by up to fifty percent and provide updated resources like simulation labs for nursing students to critical learning experiences that prepare them for work in healthcare.
Normandale Community College: College Services Building Phase 2. $26,634,000
With the bonding money appropriated, Normandale Community College will be able to complete Phase 2 of the College Services Building project. When completed this renovation will create a centralized Student Service Hub, increase space for the Veteran’s Resource Center, Diversity Center, and Center for Experiential Education along with improving 32 classrooms, increasing space utilization, updating classroom technology.
Minneapolis College: Design phases 1 and 2 of the Management Education Center. $990,000
This funding will allow Minneapolis College to design the first two phases of the Management and Education Center, allowing the college and Metropolitan State University to expand access to baccalaureate degree options for Twin Cities students. The cost to complete the project is $10,254,000 and will have to be requested in a future bonding bill. When completed it will improve 21 classrooms and labs, create new student support and collaboration spaces, and renovate offices in the Old Harmon Building.
Pine Technical and Community College: Technical and Trades Lab Addition and Renovation. $635,000
This project when complete will renovate and construct new labs for technical and trades programs, classrooms, offices, and support spaces, helping expand access to high-demand programs like nursing and precision machining. Completion of the project will allow Pine Technical and Community College to train critical workforce positions in Minnesota and improve the college enrollment.
For more detailed information about the projects and further information about Minnesota States 2020 capital request please visit: https://minnstate.edu/legislative/docs/CapitalRequest-2020.pdf