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A rendering of the view looking west at Dacotah Bank Stadium. Handout image via Aberdeen American News

Noem signs bill for new Northern State stadium

PIERRE, S.D. - The bill that authorizes the construction of Dacotah Bank Stadium and Koehler Hall of Fame Field at Northern State University was signed into law Friday by Gov. Kristi Noem.

Noem's signature on House Bill 1037 on Feb. 8 was the last approval needed from Pierre to construct a football stadium and softball field on campus at the site of the current South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Noem attended Northern State University in the early 1990s, but eventually graduated from South Dakota State University in 2011.

The stadium and field are the final parts of the Educational Impact Campaign, a $55 million fundraising effort that also included the completed athletic and recreation fields and a new school for the blind. The softball field and football stadium, which will be connected to the Barnett Center, are expected to cost $33 million.

Funds for all three projects have been raised through the NSU Foundation. They include a $5 million commitment from the city of Aberdeen and $2.5 million from the governor's future fund pledged by former Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

Work on the fields is expected to start in fall and completion is set for 2021.