Jon Schemmel

Jon Schemmel

The Dakota State University Foundation came before the city commission on Monday night to request a contribution toward DSU’s Trojans Unite campaign.

Trojans Unite is the first real campaign launched by the university, according to Foundation director Jon Schemmel. It is raising money to build a new athletic complex and has a goal of $250 million.

There are three phases of the plan.

Phase 1 includes upgrading the football stadium, relocating the track, building a soccer stadium, office space, meeting spaces and classrooms. They would also like to build a new arena and indoor practice facility.

“We would like to have a large practice facility about the size of Brookings’,” Schemmel said.

DSU would also like to put in turf, have a Hall of Fame space and build VIP suites — facilities that could double as venues for community events. They would also like to build one very important thing that they don’t currently have: a bathroom.

Schemmel was part of the team that built the USD Onward campaign. It began in 2012 with a goal of $250 million and raised more than $272 million for USD in Vermillion.

“Based on my experience, these facilities help raise population,” Schemmel said.

DSU requires many donors because it receives one of the smallest endowments. The university is becoming more prominent, Schemmel said, so it needs to grow.

The commission heard the request and will wait one month before further discussion and possible action.