MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Montclair State University is spending $210,000 for a 12-foot bronze statue depicting the school’s red-tailed hawk mascot.

About half the cost will be paid by mandatory student fees from the Student Government Association and the rest from university funds, university spokeswoman Suzanne Bronski told The Record newspaper. About $4,000 in private donations have been raised.

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Bronski said the statue will help generate enthusiasm for the school’s Division III athletic program and reinforce a sense of community.

“For the University community, the Red Hawk has come to stand for the determination of our students to make something important of their lives and for the courage it takes to challenge oneself to truly fulfill one’s potential,” Montclair University said in a statement.

“The Red Hawk statue is a student-initiated project that will go a long way toward helping the University to develop an even greater sense of pride and identity.”

But some students, who pay $11,000 in annual tuition and fees, are not feeling the school spirit.

“I think the idea of building a hawk for that much money is a little far-fetched, kind of crazy,” one student said.

A post-grad student told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney he would like to see the money go to lowering tuition, creating better housing, carving more direct paths between dorms and buildings on the hilly campus or improving the student gym.

“Some of the machines in there they break down and they don’t fix them for a few months,” the student said.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, most students she spoke with said the statue is not necessary as the emblem is already plastered on every wall inside the athletic building.

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“What’s the point in spending a couple hundred grand on something we already know is our mascot?” student Ryan said.

Members of the girls track team said they would like to see the money go toward better facilities.

“We believe the money could go toward something better, like making an indoor track or supplying more equipment athletics-wise,” Danielle said.

Other students said there should be something representing the school’s success.

“This has become one of the most dominant universities in New Jersey,” one student said. “School pride, MSU all the way.”

The statue is expected to be installed in front of the Panzer Atheltic Center by the start of the fall semester.

The hawk is being sculpted by a Toms River sculpture studio that also created the status of Yogi Berra, which sits outside the museum on the university’s campus, as well as the Miss America statue in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

As Baker reported, Montclair State is one of the most affordable universities in N.J., yet the tuition fees are 40 percent higher than the national average.

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