Land Board Awards Nearly $10 Million to Support Schools, Colleges in Western North Dakota
BISMARCK, N.D. –The Board of University and School Lands (Land Board) today awarded nearly $10 million to K-12 schools and higher education institutions throughout the state’s oil and gas counties. The Land Board awarded about $5.6 million in grants to 24 K-12 schools and $4 million to higher education institutions impacted by rapid growth in western North Dakota.
“These grants are an important part of a larger state commitment to help meet the many challenges that are created by rapid growth in the state’s oil and gas region,” said Gov. Jack Dalrymple, chairman of the five-member state Land Board. “With the Energy Impact Grant Fund we can tackle a wide range of challenges. At the same time, we recognize that the challenges from rapid growth are very dynamic and we must always be prepared to adapt our response to meet the region’s needs.”
Other members of the Land Board are Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Secretary of State Al Jaeger, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler and state Treasurer Kelly Schmidt.
The Land Board has set aside $25 million in Energy Impact Grant funds for Oil Patch Schools during the 2013-2015 biennium. The state also is providing $13.6 million in grants to schools throughout the state that are challenged by rapid growth in student enrollments. Most schools currently qualifying for the formula-based funding assistance are located in western North Dakota.
Some examples of the Energy Impact Grant funds awarded to K-12 schools today are:
- $1.376 million for the McKenzie Co. Public School District #1 to purchase land needed for the construction of an additional school.
- $750,000 for Nesson Public School District #2 in Ray, N.D., to provide teacher housing.
- $400,000 for Grenora Public School District in Williams County to replace the school’s heating system.
- $279,000 for the Tioga Public School District to expand and remodel its kitchen and cafeteria.
- $400,000 for the Powers Lake Public School District to renovate its high school for additional classrooms.
- $250,000 awarded to the South Prairie Elementary School District in Ward County for portable classrooms.
For a complete list of grants approved by the Land Board today go to www.nd.gov/energyimpact
The Land Board today also awarded the following grants totaling $4 million to higher education institutions in the state’s oil and gas region:
- $1.75 million awarded to Williston State College to construct a new building dedicated to workforce training programs.
- $1 million to enhance campus security measures at Minot State University.
- $800,000 to expand and renovate a residence hall at Dickinson State University.
- $250,000 to demolish a vacant residence hall at Williston State College.
- $181,500 for a campus access control system at Dickinson State University.
To date, the Land Board has committed about $150 million of a total $240 million in Energy Impact Grant funding for the 2013-2015 biennium. The grants are addressing a wide range of needs in western North Dakota, including law enforcement enhancements, upgrades to airports, support for emergency medical services and fire districts and support for growing schools.
In all, the state has allocated about $2.6 billion to support the state’s oil and gas region during the 2013-2015 biennium. About $1.3 billion in state funding has either been distributed or committed so far to address the region’s rapid-growth needs.
The state’s 2013-2015 commitment – more than twice the amount of the previous, two-year funding package of about $1.2 billion – is being used to address many needs in western North Dakota, including: state highway, county, township and city road improvements; water supply and water treatment projects and the development of low-to-moderate income housing. Other state commitments include stationing more Highway Patrol troopers in western North Dakota and enhancements to the region’s court system.