August 4, 2011
$277.7 million in building and remodeling projects approved by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities trusteesContact:
Melinda Voss, (651) 201-1804, email@example.com
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will seek authorization for $277.7 million in funding next year for construction and remodeling projects across the state in a request approved Thursday by the Board of Trustees.
The request is for $221.8 million in state general obligation bond financing with $55.9 million in debt service paid by the state colleges and universities system and its institutions, bringing the total project authorization to $277.7 million. It is the system’s smallest request in six years.
Board Chair Scott Thiss said, "These projects correspond directly to the board's strategic plan, which calls for increasing student access and success, strengthening regional and state economic vitality, delivering high-quality learning options and services, promoting innovation, and sustaining financial viability.”
"We appreciate the recent authorization by the governor and Legislature for the projects that were funded in the special session,” said Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. "The projects on the 2012 request would upgrade existing facilities, particularly in science and technology areas. By authorizing these projects, the Legislature and governor would enable the state colleges and universities to produce the additional graduates that Minnesota needs to remain globally competitive.
“As the steward for nearly one-third of the state’s building spaces, we want to make our aging facilities more energy efficient and more useful,” Rosenstone said. The board’s top priority is $110 million in repair and replacement projects for roofs, and mechanical and electrical systems, as well as health and safety improvements, on nearly all 54 campuses.
The 25 capital improvement projects focus on updating science and allied health facilities; renovating, demolishing and reconfiguring classrooms and other facilities; enhancing classrooms and lab spaces for workforce development projects; and adding much-needed space at overcrowded campuses.
Laura King, the system’s vice chancellor and chief financial officer, said, “Our enrollment has grown tremendously over the last few years. We want to make sure our facilities can accommodate additional students.” Since 2001, annual headcount enrollment of students in credit-based courses has grown to 276,977, an increase of 52,513 students or 23 percent.
Legislators are expected to visit campuses around the state this summer and fall to become familiar with the capital requests.
The projects were winnowed from more than $700 million in requests submitted by the system's institutions. In January, teams of representatives from the campuses and system office scrutinized and scored the proposals to present to the board.
Click here for the list of projects.
Minnesota's 31 state community and technical colleges, and universities serve more than 420,000 students across the state.