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Published December 01, 2012, 10:23 PM

Much needed improvements are planned for UND's School of Medicine

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- There's a space crunch creeping in on UND's School of Medicine and Health Sciences departments.

By: Kayla Strayer, WDAZ, WDAY

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- There's a space crunch creeping in on UND's School of Medicine and Health Sciences departments.

The university is now proposing multi-million dollar improvements, otherwise, it won't be able to accept any more students.

A space utilization study, funded by the state legislature, concluded there are three options to consider.

The first two involve repairs to the current facility. The third, and most expensive option, is to build a new facility, which would cost about 124 million dollars.

Randy Eken, UND Associate Dean of Administration and Finance: "Basic benefit here is to the students. The space study says that we cannot accept new students without one of the three options."

An advisory group for the School of Medicine recommends the new building because it would actually be the cheapest option to maintain. One student says this is the way to go.

Madeline Aandal, UND student: "If it's going to be the cheapest option for the long run then ya, because like I said if you can find ways to save our money then that would be the best option."

With many North Dakota doctors set to retire in the next few years, the dean says something must be done fill the gap.

Eken: "And then the oil boom, which might increase the population of the state by 150,000, would leave a shortage in the state by about 300 to 500 doctors."

The state legislature is discussing the options and will have a decision by April. If legislators choose to build a new facility, the expected completion date is fall of 2015.

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