Posted: January 14, 2008

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will seek authorization for $350.2 million in funding next year for construction and remodeling projects across the state. The Board of Trustees Wednesday approved a list of 37 projects that will be submitted for funding.

The request to the Legislature is for $272.9 million in general obligation bond financing with $77.3 million in debt service financed by the system and its institutions, bringing the total project authorization to $350.2 million.

The top priority is $110 million in repair and replacement projects on all 53 campuses, including roof replacements, mechanical and electrical system repairs, and health and safety improvements.

"By funding this top priority, the Legislature will enable the system to protect the public's investment in 26 million square feet of academic buildings," said Chancellor James H. McCormick. "While these kinds of expenditures are not glamorous, we are mindful of the need to provide warm, safe and dry facilities for our students, faculty and the public." Overall, the system has 839 buildings, which amounts to about one-third of the public's real estate.

Funds also are being sought for 36 other capital improvement projects, which largely would add, replace or remodel classrooms, science labs and classrooms and applied technology labs.

"These projects represent our values of sustainability, energy conservation and efficiency, and practicality," said Tom Renier, the trustee who chairs the board's Finance and Facilities Policy Committee. "They will improve energy efficiency, thus saving scarce energy resources and operating dollars. Safety and security also are an inherent part of our capital projects."

Board Chair David Paskach added, "These projects were selected to correspond directly with the board's strategic plan that calls for increasing access and opportunity, strengthening regional and state economic vitality, delivering high-quality learning options and services, and promoting innovation.

"We're optimistic that the governor and Legislature will recognize these projects are a sound investment in our campuses," Paskach said. Legislators are expected to visit campuses around the state this summer and fall to become familiar with the capital requests.

The 37 projects were winnowed from more than $500 million in requests submitted by the system's institutions. In January, teams of representatives from the campuses and system office scored the proposals. The board also conducted public hearings before the chancellor made his recommendations.