Wubben Hall project assured, college says

More than $230 million that the state of Colorado leveraged by using future federal mineral leasing revenue will allow Mesa State College to complete an $18.4 million expansion and renovation of Wubben Hall, college officials announced Thursday.

College President Tim Foster said Mesa State’s share of the funds will allow the college to add roughly 30,000 square feet to the classroom building and renovate the existing building’s interior.

“This is great news for the continued expansion of the campus,” Mesa State trustee Norm Franke said.

State Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction, said the $18.4 million project, along with 11 others at colleges and universities across the state, should help stimulate the state’s economy during the country’s economic slowdown.

“This is extremely good news,” Buescher said, noting the Wubben Hall project could create 300 to 400 new construction jobs.

Buescher, along with Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, played a crucial role in writing the legislation that allows the state to sell “certificates of participation,” which are similar to bonds, using revenue the state plans to take in from mineral leasing on federal lands in Colorado.

Penry, a Mesa State graduate, could not be reached for comment.

“These funds will stimulate our economy, create new jobs and allow us to invest in colleges and communities all across Colorado,” Gov. Bill Ritter said in a statement.


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