Funding crucial for aging facilities is crucial

Buildings in need of renovation at the U are vital for research.

Having an old campus with old buildings is nice for aesthetics and for preserving history, but some facilities could soon become unusable if funding for renovations isn’t acquired. There are 37 facilities in critical need of repairs on the Twin Cities campus. The caveat is that funding won’t be easy to get, as the amount requested of the state by the University of Minnesota is higher than in previous years.

It’s projected that the Twin Cities campus will need over $2.8 billion in renovations and repairs over the next decade. In short, Higher Education Asset Preservation and Renovation funds from the state won’t be sufficient to cover those costs. Coupled with a tumultuous political environment, especially during election season, President Eric Kaler’s $77 million capital request will be difficult to attain.

While many of us don’t really consider the impact that research occurring in these buildings has — such as helping address a deadly virus in pigs last year — a lack of funds will eventually result in an insufficient response to future problems.

It’ll be a difficult fight to get the money, but we encourage students and faculty to advocate for state funds at the Capitol. In addition, it’s vital to vote for those who are in support of increasing funds to help the school’s vital research buildings, and we urge leaders to consider this issue.

It shouldn’t take a crisis to make us realize that having the capability to research and ultimately solve global problems is of the utmost importance.