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Cost of Engelstad Arena up to $100 million dollars

The price tag for building UND's new hockey arena is up to 100-million dollars...double its original price. Designer Jim Kobetsky with Schoen Associates Architects says the cost has risen because of upgrades to the building's furniture, equipment and fixtures. Kobetsky says construction costs are still on budget at 85 million dollars...but additions like new weight room equipment and other upgrades have increased the price. Kobetsky says the building features the best of everything...and that arena donor Ralph Engelstad has spared no expense in making the arena a premier facility. Engelstad gave UND 100 million dollars nearly 3 years ago. "Half" was expected to be used to build the new arena, while the "other" 50 million dollars would benefit UND programs. While all that money will now go to building the arena, Earl Strinden of the UND Alumni Foundation says Engelstad called the 100-million dollars an "initial gift." Strinden says while he can't predict what will happen in the future, there is an opportunity for the school to work with Engelstad on additional gifts. Strinden says for now the focus is on the arena...he says Engelstad is very pleased and proud of the building. Strinden says some of the additions to the arena have come at the request of others...and he says Engelstad has spent extra money making the building energy efficient so it will be less expensive for the school to operate when he gifts it to UND.

Source: WDAZ TV Script, August, 14, 2001