Posted: June 1, 2006
Contact: Doug Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-201-1426
Building and remodeling projects at nearly all 53 campuses in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system were approved by the Legislature in its final hours and signed into law by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
The $191.4 million appropriation includes funding for all of the projects requested by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.
"We are pleased with the bonding bill passed by the Legislature, particularly because it respects the rigorous process used by the Board of Trustees to select which projects are forwarded to the Legislature for funding," said Chancellor James H. McCormick. "The state will gain greatly because these funds will pay for repairing roofs and mechanical systems, making technology improvements to classrooms and expanding our capacity to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
"We appreciate the leadership shown by the governor and legislative leaders in reaching an agreement so we can get started on these critical projects," McCormick added. "Though the funding for major repair projects was not what we had requested, we still believe that it is vitally important to protect the taxpayers' investment in the system's 833 buildings, which constitute about one-third of the state's real estate."
The bill included $40 million for repairs and safety improvements to roofs and mechanical and electrical systems at colleges and universities throughout the system.
Sixteen of the 27 capital improvement projects were fully funded for additions, renovations or new construction at Minnesota State University, Mankato; St. Cloud State University; Century College in White Bear Lake; Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet; Minneapolis Community and Technical College; Bemidji State University; Saint Paul College; Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical in Red Wing; Normandale Community College in Bloomington; Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights; Winona State University; and science and applied technology lab renovations at 10 colleges. Requests for 11 other projects were partially funded.
The Board of Trustees sets priorities for funding capital improvement projects after a lengthy process that involves consulting with technical experts and various constituencies and holding public hearings.
Minnesota's 31 state community and technical colleges, and universities serve more than 430,000 students across the state.