DSU wants land returned to prior use by presidential library foundation

The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library was supposed to be in Dickinson, but now it’s heading to Medora.

The land at Dickinson State University that was suppose to be filled by the presidential library is where the rodeo grounds use to be.

“We are standing what use to be the arena. You would have to imagine this surrounded by the arena gates and extended probably fifty or sixty yards, ” said Dr. Thomas Mitzel, President of Dickinson Sate University,

In 2016 Dickinson State University took down the rodeo arena and leased 27 acres for $1 a year to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation, because they thought they were going to get a presidential library in its place.

Last month the foundation board voted to move the library’s location to Medora in a 9 to 2 decision.

“What we would like is for the 27 acres to be returned to the condition prior to the foundation coming through. . . and that would entail building a new practice rodeo arena.” said Mitzel.

Before the arena can be built something will have to be done with the logs that were supposed to used for a replica Elkhorn Ranch Cabin for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library.

“The logs will have to be moved off this land , before we can use it properly. We are asking the foundation to move the logs, ” said Mitzel.

He will also be asking for the grass to be mowed and whatever is left of the signs that use to say       “Future Home of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library” be taken down.

Since the rodeo arena was taken down DSU and the people of Dickinson have been using the rodeo arena on the South end of town at the Stark County Fairgrounds.

“It is big hardship on our students to go off campus to do all of their practice there . . . We were willing to accommodate that when we thought the library was going to be here, ” said Mitzel.

Mitzel said he is working with North Dakota Attorney General and the lawyer for the TRPL Foundation to find a resolution, and he would like see a new arena built prior for the students coming back this Fall.

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