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BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) -- The Brookings City Council has decided to ask for a state loan to help finance infrastructure at South Dakota State University's 125-acre Innovation Campus.

The Innovation Campus is near Interstate 29 and the U.S. Highway 14 bypass. The 28,000-square-foot Innovation Center is finished, and construction on a 70,000-square-foot seed technology center is to start in the spring.

The group overseeing the research park's development, the Growth Partnership, has funding for the first phase of infrastructure. Still needed is $3.8 million for infrastructure, and of that amount, about $1.3 million is eligible for low-interest financing through the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources. It would cover drainage and wastewater portions of the project.

City Manager Jeff Weldon said the city might ask for borrowing authority of more than $1.3 million at 3.25 percent interest, "just in case there are overages, inflation, costs that are beyond our control or unanticipated change orders for next year."

The payoff can take as long as 20 years. Weldon said that if the loan is approved, the city could ask for bids next spring, with the infrastructure going in during next summer's construction season.

SDSU says the Innovation Campus is an asset in helping companies recruit the best and brightest students and employees, as well as national and international business partners.

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The school says on its Web site that the campus brings together the experience of SDSU, business, industry and government to create an environment that uses innovation and creativity to generate new ideas and promote research, discovery and scientific advancements.

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