Governor's support of U of M’s full request highlights impact of higher education

January 16, 2018
UMN students

Today, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler joined Commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget Myron Frans as the Commissioner announced Governor Mark Dayton's full support for the University’s entire 2018 capital request.

The Governor’s recommendation for the state bonding bill includes the University’s full capital request as advanced by the Board of Regents ($238.5 million for the renewal of facilities across the state) plus an additional $50 million for critical facilities maintenance and an additional $10 million for design of a new Clinical Research Facility on the Twin Cities campus, which emphasizes the Governor’s support of a strong Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota.

President Kaler responded to the Governor’s historic announcement:

“The University of Minnesota, with five campuses, extension offices and research centers around the state, adds significant educational, cultural and economic value to communities in every corner of Minnesota. Governor Mark Dayton has shown extraordinary support for the University of Minnesota, and I am enormously grateful.

“Governor Dayton’s public works proposal supports improvements on our campuses, helping to reduce a backlog in deferred building maintenance while making strategic investments to renew facilities. Our facilities—originally built with state funding—are in dire need of repair, and now is the time to reinvest in the University’s strong legacy of keeping the state at the forefront of emerging knowledge and preparing the future leaders of Minnesota.

“This session, I urge passage of a robust bonding bill and I urge all policymakers to invest in infrastructure that supports Minnesota’s students and families, renews our facilities and enhances Minnesota’s economy and wellbeing.”

The University of Minnesota’s 2018 capital request includes four priority initiatives totaling $238.5 million in state funding:

Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) funding will maximize the effectiveness and extend the life of University facilities across the state. Projects include: (1) health, safety and accessibility; (2) building systems; (3) utility infrastructure; and (4) energy efficiency. The HEAPR request totals $200 million in state funding. The Governor’s recommendation includes an additional $50 million in HEAPR investment.

Greater MN Academic Renewal funding will renovate and renew obsolete classrooms and laboratories in five buildings on the University of Minnesota Crookston, Duluth and Morris campuses. Underutilized spaces will be converted into modern facilities that meet students’ needs. This request includes $10.5 million in state funding and $5.3 million in University investment.

Pillsbury Hall Capital Renewal investment will renovate the obsolete and unused science building on the East Bank of the Twin Cities campus into modern teaching, learning and research spaces to serve more than 6,000 students studying the humanities. The initiative includes $24 million in state funding and $12 million in University investment.

The Glensheen Renewal initiative will use a state investment of $4 million to create a Glensheen Renewal Challenge, which will be a program to match one-for-one donations to preserve the historic Glensheen mansion in Duluth.

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