Renewal, renovation and replacement: That’s what the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State system would like to gain from a bonding bill this session.
Stories of outdated facilities and lack of classroom space for growing programs were among the topics addressed at Tuesday’s meeting of the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Division, where the two multi-campus systems laid out their priorities and funding requests for 2020. No action was taken by the division, but what the schools want came into sharper focus.
For both Minnesota State and the University of Minnesota, over half of their funding requests would go toward Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement, or HEAPR.
In her first appearance before the division, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel, spoke of “a massive maintenance backlog” that tops $4.8 billion in needed improvements for university buildings over the next decade, noting that half are 50 years old or older.
She was there to present a capital budget request of $317.2 million, including $200 million for HEAPR funds that would go toward 187 projects throughout the university system.
Gabel listed the university’s other funding priorities as being, in order of priority:
Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra also spoke of a backlog of deferred maintenance that amounts to $2.3 billion over the next 10 years. He presented a capital budget request of $230.8 million, with $150 million for HEAPR funds. Most of those funds would go toward repair and replacement of roofs, boilers, chillers and electrical grids at 32 of its 54 campus locations.
Malhotra listed 15 other priorities in order of importance, with those at the top being: