HUD funds secured for USD medical school improvements

HUD funds secured for USD medical school improvements by David Lias U.S. Senators Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson have announced that $925,000 in funding they helped secure for The University of South Dakota (USD) Medical School in Vermillion has been released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Daschle and Johnson helped obtain the funding during last year's appropriations process. It was approved by Congress as part of legislation funding HUD and the U.S. Veterans Administration for fiscal year 2000.

The senators said this funding boost for the USD Medical School is critical to the region because it is a major supplier of primary care physicians in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.

The Lee Medical Building at USD is 50 years old and sadly in need of renovation and expansion, said Ron Lindahl, dean of basic sciences at the medical school.

He is hoping that the renovation will be completed by the time of the centennial of the medical school in 2007.

The total cost of construction and renovation of the medical school facilities is estimated at over $28 million. About $12.5 million will come from private sources, and $6 million will come from federal funding sources.

The remainder of the needed funds will come from state government funding, Lindahl said.

"We have been discussing with both Sen. Johnson and Sen. Daschle the need to secure as much federal support for this as we can," Lindahl said, "because a lot of the research that goes on in the building is federally supported and helps us compete for more funding."

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