The pause button has been hit on UND’s new Memorial Union project as interim President Joshua Wynne wants to take time to consider how the rise in fees will affect students.

The original Memorial Union was set to come down this month, but UND spokesman David Dodds said Wynne wants to get a better understanding of the scope of the project and its design.

“I think after he took over as president he just wanted to make sure that we were doing things in the best way possible,” Dodds said. “He’s always been a really big advocate for lessening student debt as much as possible now and in the future.”

Wynne has asked Jed Shivers, the university’s vice president for finance and operations, to review the project and report back with possible alternative options, including ways to reduce student debt related to the building project.

It’s not known how long the pause will last.

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Students approved the new $80 million Memorial Union project in November. The building will be paid for through an increase in student fees, which will increase every year by 2 percent, beginning in spring 2020. The student fee will go up to $14 per credit hour, or $336 a year based on a 12-credit semester.

The project and its bonding have been approved by the North Dakota Legislature and the State Board of Higher Education.

The SBHE will hold a special meeting on Thursday to discuss the topic.