Facilities Committee discusses budget, U improvement projects

by Brad Ellingson

The Board of Regents Facilities Committee met Thursday to discuss the Quarterly Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal year 2002 and review Capital Budget amendments.

Projects approved for fiscal year 2002 for all University campuses total $773 million.

Of the 263 projects, 16 are currently under way, totaling $280 million.

In addition, the regents passed two amendments to the 2002 Capital Budget.

Vice President for University Services Eric Kruse presented a plan to amend the 2002 Capital Budget by $437,000 for the Phase I project of the Washington Avenue bridges and $280,000 for the McNeal Hall suite renovation. Two rooms in McNeal Hall will be reconstructed to serve students more effectively.

Members of the Facilities Committee said replacing the bridges for the University is important.

“This is such a focal point Ö to do this is very important,” said Regent David Metzen. “Not to do this right would be a huge mistake.”

Regent Frank Berman also said the bridges are important to the University.

“Aesthetics are the critical issue more than cost,” Berman said.

Concern arose as to when the bridges would be in place.

“Our goal is have it done by this next fall,” Kruse said.

In addition, Kruse said the total cost of the Washington Avenue bridges will be approximately $5 million.

While many recent projects have been completed using the design-build method, Berman expressed concern about the new form of construction.

Metzen said the design-build method should not be the only method used.

Brad Ellingson covers construction and facilities and welcomes comments at [email protected]