Classrooms, library top list at Mesa

A new classroom building and library renovations top Colorado Mesa University’s wish list for state capital funds for 2012–13.

The fund has been stingy the last couple of years as the state endured revenue shortfalls. But Colorado Mesa Vice President of Finance Pat Doyle told the school’s board of trustees Thursday the capital fund may be able to share a little more revenue during the 2012 legislative session.

“Personal income could grow greater than 5 percent this year,” according to projections from the governor’s office of state planning and budgeting, Doyle said.

The university prioritized the $19.79 million classroom project over the $26.05 million renovation and expansion of Tomlinson Library for two reasons, according to Colorado Mesa President Tim Foster.

The first reason is growth. An extra classroom building would allow the school’s mass communications department to move out of the Fine Arts Building and into its own, new building. If that happened, the university would consider spending $8.2 million to renovate the Fine Arts Building and allow it to house fine arts alone.

The second reason is the library has a new director, Sarah Cron, and Foster said he wants to give her six to 12 months to figure out what she needs for the library before finalizing renovation plans.

The university will ask the state for $1.7 million in maintenance funding in 2012–13. Foster said the state is more likely to approve that request, which includes money for sidewalks around the school’s perimeter and repairs for older parts of the roof on the Maverick Center, Moss Performing Arts Center and Wubben Hall.

“The state does have money for controlled maintenance, so you like to get as many of those on the list as you can,” Foster said.

In addition to capital and maintenance requests, the university plans to submit a list of projects to the state that the school plans to pay for without state money, possibly in the next two years. That list includes the Fine Arts Building renovation, which Doyle said would take place only if a new classroom building is built.

The list includes a $13.95 million parking garage with 500 to 700 parking spaces for a yet-to-be-determined location on campus, plus a $16.4 million housing project, which would take place after the completion of a residence hall going up this year on the northwest corner of Orchard Avenue and 12th Street.


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