The state Board of Regents gave Montana State University approval on Thursday to continue planning and designing a $7 million sky suite structure on the northeast side of the university’s football stadium. MSU President Geoff Gamble said no state money or student tuition dollars would be used on the project. Bobcat athletics will work to raise $400,000 in private gifts to design the new structure, which would mirror the existing sky suites on the southwest side. Gamble said MSU football fans and corporate sponsors who want sky suites far outnumber the suites available now. The university would also seek a major donor to finance construction of the new structure, Gamble said. Leases of sky boxes would then be priced to pay back the construction cost and help pay off existing stadium debt. “It would let athletics stay fiscally sound” in future years, Gamble said. The regents also approved a plan for MSU to begin raising money to buy the Story Mansion in Bozeman and heard proposals from University of Montana officials to purchase the Highlands Golf Course in Missoula as a replacement for the University Golf Course and to expand seating at Washington-Grizzly Stadium by 4,000. Some regents expressed doubt about buying the Story Mansion. MSU would have to raise about $1 million to buy the historic mansion from the city of Bozeman. The university would also have to raise money to renovate the interior and to create an endowment for operating and maintaining the building, costs estimated at $120,000 a year. Mick Robinson, associate commissioner of higher education, said the governor’s budget office does not want to take additional costs for building upkeep. Gamble said buying the mansion is a top priority for the university’s College of Letters and Science, which wants to house a Humanities Institute there. The institute would host conferences, seminars and visiting scholars, Gamble said. The proposals to buy the Highlands Golf Course in Missoula and to expand seating at Washington-Grizzly Stadium are still in the early planning stages. UM President George Dennison said a master plan now in the works would call for building academic and housing structures as well as athletic facilities where the current golf course is located. Dennison said the desire to expand the football stadium is based on demand for additional seating from students and the public. Officials are discussing an increase in the student athletic fee that would help offset construction costs in exchange for 1,600 additional seats for UM students. Dennison said no architectural drawings would be done until the method of financing the proposed construction has been completed.