MnSCU Construction Projects Could Stimulate Economy

Posted: December 19, 2001

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

More than half of the $250.9 million in bonding projects submitted by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to the 2002 Legislature could be under way immediately, system officials told the Board of Trustees today. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will ask the 2002 Legislature to approve the bonding funds for needed repair, renovation and construction projects on the 53 campuses throughout the state.

Today the Board of Trustees learned that work on $138.4 million of the $250.9 million request could be under construction by the end of 2002.

"Demand for our educational services is up and the need to preserve and update our facilities is more critical than ever," Chancellor James H. McCormick told the Board of Trustees. "Many of the projects in this request will address serious deficiencies identified in our academic facilities. We are prepared to start on our most urgent projects immediately, which could serve as an added boost to Minnesota's ailing economy."

Of the total $250.9 million request, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is seeking funding for $100 million in repair and revitalization of classrooms, laboratories and building infrastructure. That amount includes $33.3 million for roof replacement, $30.8 million for mechanical and electrical systems, and $35.9 million for other repair and replacement projects to modernize aging facilities and comply with federal and state codes.

Most of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities buildings were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s, and key building components are reaching the end of their expected useful life.

The $150.9 million being requested for 25 capital improvement projects includes several new science laboratories, classrooms equipped with new instructional technology and efficient "one-stop" student services. New science buildings at Winona State University and Minnesota State University Moorhead are among the major projects. In the Twin Cities area, the request calls for a library for Metropolitan State University that would be shared by the city of St. Paul.

The Office of the Chancellor has a thorough process in place for reviewing and recommending projects to the MnSCU Board of Trustees. The office received a total of $601 million in requests for needed repair, maintenance and new construction projects from college and university presidents last year and recommended just 42 percent of them - or $250.9 million - to the Board of Trustees for approval this summer.

The MnSCU capital bonding request has been presented to Governor Jesse Ventura and will be presented to the 2002 session of the Minnesota Legislature in January.

(click here for Project priority list)