Yudof presents 2002 capital funding request at regents meeting

Liz Kohman

University President Mark Yudof presented a $239.8 million capital budget request to the Board of Regents on Friday, marking the beginning of another budget campaign.

The plan, which will fund building renovations and construction on all four campuses, includes a $186.5 million request to the Legislature and will add $31 million to the University’s existing debt. The institution also intends to raise $22.2 million.

The Legislature funded $138.3 million of the University’s $170.6 million request in 1998 and $79.3 million of the $134.3 million requested in 2000.

The regents will evaluate, make necessary changes and approve Yudof’s request at meetings in October.

Yudof’s top priority is an $80 million request from the state’s Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement appropriations fund, involving about 85 projects on all campuses. The money would go toward updating buildings to compliance with disability access codes and improving safety.

The Legislature earmarks HEAPR money for repairing existing buildings or supporting existing programs.

In 1998 the University requested $10.9 million from HEAPR but received $4 million. The 2000 request totaled $16 million, and the state gave the University $9 million.

Other projects include an $18.7 million greenhouse on the St. Paul campus, $24 million for renovating Nicholson Hall to make classrooms and a study space for freshmen and $18.4 million for remodeling the Mineral Resources Research Center – the building where taconite was invented – to create a home for the College of Education and Human Development.

The request also contains $37 million for an addition to Lions Research Building to make room for 33 new clinical scientists. They will carry out research while developing new treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer. Money has already been allocated to hire the scientists, but currently there isn’t any space for them to work.

Venora Hung spoke on behalf of the student representatives to the regents, stating the importance of getting student input on projects and obtaining adequate funding.

 

Liz Kohman covers the Board of Regents and welcomes comments at [email protected]