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Fate of New UND Medical School Hangs with House - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fate of New UND Medical School Hangs with House

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  It's now questionable, whether the North Dakota House of Representatives will approve one of the largest building projects in U.N.D. history.

  The State Senate has already passed a proposal for a new, 124-million dollar medical school, but now it needs the approval of the House.

  If it's approved, UND's new medical school would be built next to the 125-million dollar Engelstad Arena, putting a quarter of a billion dollars worth of facilities next to each other.

  The Medical School Dean says they need the room as they move from 1,000 to 1,200 health care students a year.

Dr. Joshua Wynne, Dean UND Medical School: "Add in the additional faculty that we'll need to teach those students and we physically don't have the space in our current building to accommodate all of those new trainees."

  Dr. Wynne says building new is a better option, than remodeling the existing, 60-year old med school for 68-million dollars.

  It's estimated a new med school will mean 57-million dollars in savings over the next 40-years, because of less up keep and more efficient energy use.

  Plus, Dr. Wynne says training extra health care workers is critical to filling a growing shortage across the State.

  However, House Majority Leader, Al Carlson says, he's not sure whether it's a proposal that can pass in the House.

Rep. Al Carlson, (R) Fargo: "We'll give it a good run and hear all the testimony and… really can't tell you whether it will pass or not. But, I know it will get a good hearing over here."

  The House is expected to debate the bill in late March that will determine the fate of a new, medical school at UND.

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