Senate #BuildMN Tour Makes Several Stops in Bemidji

BEMIDJI, MINN. – Senator Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids) along with the Minnesota Senate Capital Investment committee members took an extensive tour of Bemidji State University on Thursday, October 31. It was one of several stops in the city on the three-day long #BuildMN tour.

The school is requesting $13.79 million in bonding funds to help bring the Business and Accounting Departments back into the academic heart of the University. Currently the departments are housed in an outdated building located in the residential zone of campus. An underutilized gymnasium will be renovated for smart classroom and instructional space – which will give the campus more useable area without expanding the footprint of the campus. Additionally Bemidji State hopes to use bonding dollars to demolish two outdated and obsolete halls which will help eliminate $4.6 million in a deferred maintenance backlog.

“BSU is a cornerstone of the community and it’s vitally important that we continue to maintain this institution to the benefit of Northern Minnesota students and families,” Sen. Saxhaug said.

The committee members also toured the historic Carnegie Library – originally built in 1910. The city is requesting $800,000 to renovate and relocate the aging building.

While the #BuildMN tour didn’t get a chance to visit the proposed Bemidji Veterans Home site, it’s a project that Senator Saxhaug strongly supports. Last year he introduced a bill for the proposed veteran’s nursing home facility that requested $250,000 for design and planning purposes. The project is requesting a total of $30 million to help construct, furnish and equip the home.

“The people of Bemidji and the surrounding areas really stand behind their veterans. These men and women have risked their lives to protect us, it’s time for us to extend the same respect by building a strong and safe place for them to spend time in when they are in need,” Sen. Saxhaug says.

For additional information on the #BuildMN tour visit build.mn

You can also ‘like’ the MN Senate Bonding Tour Facebook page facebook.com/mnsenatebondingtour and the Twitter page twitter.com/mnsencapinvest. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #BuildMN.

Senator Tom Saxhaug
Tom Saxhaug represents District 5, which includes portions of Beltrami, Cass, Hubbard, and Itasca counties in the northern part of the state. He is a retired insurance agent. Sen. Saxhaug chairs the State Departments and Veterans Budget Division.

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