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Northern gets $25 million for Aurora Complex

Montana State University-Northern has received $25 million for a new recreation center on campus, the Aurora Complex, a long-time project of Northern Chancellor Greg Kegel.

The $25 million comes from Montana House Bill 5, which became law last week, passing through the Legislature with bi-partisan support. The major funding bill also provided another $6.8 million to Northern for repairs and upgrades to current buildings.

The Aurora Complex is the biggest of nine initiatives to boost student recruitment and retention that Kegel and his colleagues at Northern have been working on for nearly a decade.

“This is the game changer,” he said. “Of all the initiatives this is the one that will have the most impact.”

Kegel said they have a lot of ideas for the center, including a gym, a black box theater, bowling alley, coffee bar and many others, but much will depend on what architects say is possible with the money they have.

He said they are setting up listening groups with students and staff to see what they are looking for and they will bring that to the designers who will give them an idea of how much they can do with the money they have.

He said there is a chance that the building they want might end up being a little bit higher than the $25 million, but not by much and he doesn’t anticipate it will be difficult to make up the difference.


Watch for more on this in an upcoming edition of Havre Daily News.


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