Master Plan FAQ's

Frequently asked questions regarding the Educational Impact Campaign
If you have further questions about the Educational Impact Campaign or NSU master plan, submit them on our Feedback Form at northern.edu/master-plan.

The campaign committee, NSU Foundation, Foundation board and the university have agreed upon a new capital campaign goal of $55 million.

The additional funding is needed because of increased materials and construction costs, which have risen as much as 20-25 percent over the past few years. Also, some pledges extend over a longer period of time than anticipated, therefore incurring more interest expense. Reaching this new goal amount will ensure the creation of truly first-class facilities.

The other two projects of the campaign had earlier timelines – the Athletic and Recreation Fields are now open, and the SDSBVI is currently under construction – and thus required earlier funding. Because of this, most funding raised from this point on will be used for the remaining project, the regional sports complex.

There are no plans to extend the campaign beyond the new goal amount at this time.

Since the first announcement, Northern has stated that the projects were not expected to require legislative funding. Also at Northern Night—an event that was streamed live online—we announced that committee members had held preliminary meetings with city officials and the governor, who were open to exploring opportunities to assist the effort.

Initially, no permanent street closures were anticipated except for Lloyd Street east of Jerde Hall. However, as projects moved forward and plans were developed, the architectural firm recommended that the small stretch of 15th Avenue be closed in order to connect the new stadium with the Barnett Center. This is the most cost-effective way to complete the project, so Northern requested the city consider closing the street. The building process for state-owned facilities is a long process filled with bids, committee meetings and architect presentations. At the end of process, there is a decision, one that isn’t made by one or two Northern officials, but by several people, including state and Board of Regent representatives. Plans change because architects change – which is a mandate of the state process.

Northern has proposed improvements to Herret Street, which runs between 15th and 17th avenues and will remain open west of the proposed stadium. Northern will pay for the curb and gutter, and Aberdeen will finish the pavement, which is the standard procedure.

While all major construction projects involve moving parts and, at times, plans change, Northern has always intended to proceed with transparency. All proposed campus improvement projects are included in our campus master plan. Details of the master plan, including some future projects that are not yet approved or finalized, can be found here.

Northern has no intention of buying May Overby; the school belongs to the Aberdeen School District, and Northern values the collaborative relationship that comes from having the school in such close proximity.

Northern is not closing or buying Melgaard Park.

The NSU Foundation may consider buying properties adjacent to campus. Several are already owned and operated by the Foundation as rental properties.

In order to add two NCAA regulation-sized fields, Northern was only able to save six of the 12 tennis courts. The remaining six must stay, due to the gift from the Lee family.

While Northern has appreciated its shared use of Swisher Field, having an on-campus stadium will make the field more easily accessible for students, and thus will enhance their overall college experience.

We anticipate an increase in property values. From City Manager Lynn Lander: A 5 percent property value increase on a $100,000 home would add approximately $28/year in property tax.

The current SDSBVI building is 56 years old and is in need of replacement to ensure better alignment with programmatic needs, full accessibility, embedded technology and energy efficiency. The new building will be LEED certified; have better lighting control; feature classrooms with a cleaner look; and include a one-way, pull-in lane off of State Street for easy pick-up and drop-off.

No, the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired belongs in a state trust. It will remain in a state trust after the new institution has been built.

Yes. The current plan includes around 400 parking spots in the new stadium parking lot. That’s in addition to the parking lot at the Barnett Center, which is already capable of hosting similar-sized events. Overall, Northern’s campus has several hundred more parking spaces than Swisher/Central High School.

As is the case at Swisher Field, Northern student-athletes will clean up after events.