ABERDEEN, S.D. — Northern State University hopes to raise $45 million for campus projects including a new sports complex, practice fields and a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

The capital campaign had $25 million in pledges before it began, the Aberdeen News reported.

“Other than the (South Dakota) School of Mines (and Technology) … Aberdeen is the largest community in South Dakota with a state university, and I think it’s time we start acting like it,” said Jim Thares, a member of the Board of Regents. “This campaign is going to put the stamp on the future of both of these institutions and I think this is the right time.”

The soccer field and football practice field is estimated to cost $6.3 million. The school for the blind and visually impaired is expected to cost $13.7 million. The university has yet to announce the price of the sports complex with a football stadium and softball field.

The Educational Impact Campaign Committee is overseeing the fundraising efforts. The committee has met with Aberdeen officials and Gov. Dennis Daugaard in the hopes of getting financial support.

“To kick it off, we met with Dacotah Bank, and they stepped up to be one of our primary sponsors,” Thares said. “They understand not only the economic impact, but the importance of education and the future of education to our state.” The new stadium will be named after the bank in honor of their sponsorship, Thares said.

Work on the projects is expected to begin next fall.


Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com