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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL)

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Education Projects Get a Boost

Friday, March 12, 2010
St. Paul- Additions at Brooklyn Park community colleges were included in the revised Capital Investment Bill. North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) and Hennepin Technical College (HTC) will receive funds to break ground on new projects. State Rep. Mike Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park) is pleased to see the measures included in the bonding bill. “In these tough economic times, this will help the state recover quickly," said Nelson. “Carpenters, architects, and other workers in my district are ready to get started on projects like HTC. The plans are in place at these sites so we can meet the spring construction season.” NHCC would start construction on a new Center for Business and Technology. The bill includes over $14 million for the project. NHCC also has a Bioscience and Health Careers Center that was slated to get over $26 million but was cut back to $600,000. That money will be used for development plans. HTC gets over $10 million to update a Learning Resource and Student Services center. “Although, funding for NHCC was cut we still got a significant pot of money” said Nelson. “That pot will be used for preliminary planning of the Bioscience Center so next year we can get funding for construction. I promise to keep fighting in future bonding bills for our world class educational facilities.” Education experts agree that community and technical colleges play an important role in higher education. The campus in Brooklyn Park expects to see increased growth as workers return for more education. The construction plans at the colleges would allow them to expand to meet growing demands for their services. “It is important for our local economy that we help places like HTC and NHCC grow,” said Nelson. “Not only that, construction bids are coming in a third-lower than projected, so now is the perfect time to use a bonding bill to help our colleges and the Minnesotans they serve.” The Capital Investments Bill passed in the Senate and the House. It now heads to the Governor’s desk where he is expected to line-item veto some projects out of the bill. -30-