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UMass finance panel approves $2.56 billion capital plan

BOSTON - The University's Committee on Administration and Finance today approved a $2.56 billion capital plan for fiscal years 2009-2013, saying that the plan would allow for the construction of important new academic and research facilities on all five campuses and provide for needed renovation and repair.

"Each Chancellor has proposed an ambitious building program. We already see vital new buildings rising on all five UMass campuses, and we intend to build on the significant progress that we have achieved so far in this decade and create additional 21st century facilities that will allow us to fully advance our mission of education, research and public service," said University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson.

"With the Commonwealth of Massachusetts stepping forward as a fully engaged partner in this effort, I believe that we can usher in a new era of achievement and growth in his very important area," President Wilson added. "We are committed to providing our students, faculty and staff with the facilities that they need and deserve. These investments will occur on all five campuses and will touch every region of the Commonwealth."

The Board of Trustees' Committee on Administration and Finance completed its annual update of the University's capital plan at a morning meeting. The plan now goes to the full Board of Trustees for approval, with the Board meeting September 26 at UMass Boston. Through the plan, the University will make investments in projects ranging from research labs to new classrooms and student recreation facilities. The plan was proposed by President Wilson and created in collaboration with the campus Chancellors and their staffs.

The capital activity envisioned for the next five years would build on the $1.7 billion in construction and renovation conducted system-wide over the past eight years.

The full realization of the $2.56 billion capital plan is contingent upon the University generating funding from four key sources: University operating funds, funds borrowed by the University, state funds and private/federal funding. The University envisions borrowing $1,454,698,000 (57 percent of total revenue), receiving $798,022,704 (31 percent) from the state, directing $213,940,360 (8 percent) in operating funds and generating $97,540,000 (4 percent) in private/federal funds.

The significant infusion of state funding would represent a dramatic increase in state participation (the state funded only 16 percent of the $1.7 billion in overall UMass capital spending occurring in FY 2000-FY 2008), and will be fueled by this year's passage of a $2 billion Higher Education Bond Bill, legislation that targeted more than $1 billion for UMass projects, and passage of the $1 billion Life Sciences Investment Bill that is expected to provide at least $240 million in capital support to the University.

"By ushering these two critical bills into law, the Governor and the Legislature make two things very clear: how important state-of-the-art facilities are to UMass and the critical role that the University plays in fueling and shaping the state's innovation economy," President Wilson said.

In developing the new capital plan, University officials identified $3.43 billion in overall capital needs. Based on the expected availability of revenue, the University envisions $2.56 billion in capital activity over the next five fiscal years and thus set the capital plan at that level.

Among the projects included in the FY 2009-FY 2013 capital plan:

Amherst: Laboratory science building, $100,000,000, and student recreation center, $53,300,000.

Boston: Integrated sciences complex, $152,000,000, and new academic building, $100,000,000.

Dartmouth: Student housing renovations, $75,000,000, and marine sciences building, $20,000,000.

Lowell: Emerging technologies and innovation center, $90,000,000, and new academic building for South Campus, $40,000,000.

Worcester: New science building, $333,000,000, and advanced education and clinical practice center, $115,000,000.

Contact:  Robert P. Connolly


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