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Northern State fine arts renovation expanding

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Northern State University has upped its cost estimate for the renovation of its fine arts center by more than $4 million because fundraising efforts have gone better than expected.

The South Dakota Board of Regents has approved the Aberdeen school's plan to renovate the main theatre stage, auditorium and lobby areas and build an addition to the Johnson Fine Arts Center at a cost of $12 million.

The 2012 state Legislature approved the project at a cost of $7.75 million, but officials say private fundraising will be used to cover the difference and enhance the renovation.

Higher Education Facilities Fund bonds will provide $5 million and the remaining $7 million will come from private donations.

The increased project amount will need approval from the 2014 Legislature.