Gate City Bank makes $2.5M investment in NDSU's Aldevron Tower

Gate City Bank and the NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association announced Wednesday, Sept. 4, that the community bank will be providing a unique low-interest rate loan to fund the $28 million Aldevron Towers, a 74,000-square-foot, six-story tower addition to Sudro Hall for health care education. The anticipated completion date of the largest privately-funded, academic facility on campus is January 2020. Kim Hyatt/ The Forum

FARGO — Gate City Bank officials have developed a new low-interest finance agreement with North Dakota State University that will save the university $2.5 million in construction costs on the Aldevron Tower, a six-story, $28 million privately funded addition to Sudro Hall.

The announcement was made at a press conference Wednesday, Sept. 4, at Gate City Bank's downtown branch.

NDSU President Dean Bresciani called Gate City Bank an "early adopter" of NDSU and thanked the institution for its continued support.

"We talk about the Bison family, but we’re very fortunate to be part of a broader family called the Fargo-Moorhead community," Bresciani said. "I’ve been at nine universities, but I’ve never been someplace where the community and the university have a stronger relationship. ... One of the most important in terms of that relationship has been Gate City Bank. They were one of the early adopters of NDSU, if you will."


He pointed to high-profile projects such as the Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome to lesser-known projects like Gate City Bank classrooms at Barry Hall.

"And you can't go to a football game and not think, 'Hmm, who did that field?'" he joked. "Very subtle."

Gate City Bank's Steve Swiontek said at a press conference Wednesday, Sept. 4, that he is unaware of any other bank that has come up with a creative, low-interest loan such as the one Gate City will be gifting to North Dakota State University for funding Aldevron Tower. Kim Hyatt / The Forum

He called Gate City's latest commitment an "investment" rather than a "gift."

"They understand the value" of investing in NDSU and the greater community, Bresciani said.



Steve Swiontek, executive chair for Gate City Bank and chairman of the board, challenged his team to come up with a unique funding formula for NDSU.
Bresciani said the agreed-upon interest rate is unheard of.

"Rather than making us finance through normal mechanisms, they offered us an extraordinarily low interest rate to finance the cost to run the construction period and until those gifts are received," he said. "When I say extraordinarily low, I've never heard of this. It's going to save us $2.5 million on the cost of the project. That's $2.5 million that can be invested back into the project, particularly for some research opportunities that will be made possible by the building."

Madison Brenamen Lien, a nursing student at North Dakota State University, speaks to a packed room at Gate City Bank on Wednesday, Sept. 4, about how the bank's investment in Aldevron Tower will have an even greater impact on the patients she and other students serve. Kim Hyatt / The Forum

Gate City Bank's investment will bring all of NDSU's College of Health Professions academic programs — pharmacy, nursing, allied sciences and public health — together. It will provide space to accommodate five new research faculty, office space for professional advisers in the college, the expansion of Sudro Hall's animal research facility and a new common core equipment room and study and office space for graduate students.

NDSU received permission from the State Board of Education to expand Sudro Hall and its nursing program in response to the region's shortage of health care workers in 2018. The project will be complete in December, with students and faculty moving in just in time for the spring semester.

Angie Wieck is the business editor for The Forum. Email her at
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