Students at University of North Dakota set to vote on an $80 million Memorial Union project

Students share their thoughts on the potential building.

GRAND FORKS, ND--It's an $80-million dollar vote the students are set to decide.

The University of North Dakota could soon have a new Memorial Union.

Our Kenneth Chase spoke directly with students to learn what they have to say about it just days before the vote.

A new memorial union could be built on the University of North Dakota campus soon.

"I think it looks really good," said student, Taya Schadler.

But students will have to approve or deny the $80 Million dollar project on Tuesday.

"A lot bigger which I think could be useful. All of the students on campus. I think it'd be worth it to vote yes," said Schadler.

The current union was built nearly 70 years ago, but the school has deferred maintenance projects -- estimated at $40 million dollars.

052821 Paul Pedraza, Junior:

"I think it'd be beneficial to get a new building in here that's structurally sound and better for the students," said Junior, Paul Pedraza.

Some students said they don't think a new memorial union is necessary, and the building is fine the way it is - they're concerned about the big increase in student fees.

Student fees could jump from $1-dollar 21 cents per credit hour -- to $14 dollars per credit hour.

"Increasing fees by a small percentage is a small cost to us in the Grand Scheme of things," said Pedraza.

The new union has plans for more retail and restaurant options, a multipurpose room and more study and meeting spaces.

"I noticed that there was a lot of natural lighting in there which I think is really cool because this building doesn't have a lot of windows in it and it'd be kind of nice to you know enjoy natural sunlight for the little bit of time we get it in North Dakota," said Pedraza.

The Student Senate considered different options at various price points, including some that were more than $100 million, before choosing this plan.

While many of the students on campus won't use the union while in school -- some are hoping they'll leave a lasting impression on campus.

"It still leaves a lasting impression on this campus and for the future of UND students so that's what I mean by leaving that legacy," said organizer, Kara Kohns.

If passed -- the plan will head to the State Board of Higher Education and Legislature for approval.