$628,000 Recommended for Weld Hall Renovation, Addition
Yesterday, Governor Dayton announced his top priority for this year’s legislative session: investments in infrastructure, including $180 million in asset preservation and replacement projects that would touch all 54 campuses within the Minnesota State system. He also recommended $63 million in state funds be combined with $31.5 million in system funds be allocated to pay for 16 campus-based renovation projects to meet the needs of 21st century learners. This recommendation includes $628,000 for design work for the renovation and an addition to Weld Hall on Minnesota State University Moorhead’s campus.
“Thank you, Governor Dayton, for the strong recommendation for investment in the assets our colleges and universities maintain for students on behalf of the people of Minnesota,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor for Minnesota State.
The top priority within the Minnesota State request to the legislature this year is asset preservation and replacement funds, with 40 percent of projects related to roofing, as Minnesota State is sheltered by 301 acres of roofs. The next largest category of spending – 21 percent – will be used to maintain or replace the more than 2,600 different pieces of HVAC equipment, such as boilers and air handlers at the system’s 54 campuses. Investments such as these in asset preservation ensure that campus operating dollars are dedicated to improving educational outcomes instead of repairing buildings. Funding asset preservation projects will remain a top priority in future years, as well, due to a backlog of $913 million of deferred maintenance.
“Every year, Minnesota State welcomes more than 375,000 students who dream of being our state’s next generation of workers and leaders,” said Malhotra. “The facilities supported in the Governor’s recommendation are the bricks and mortar where the magic of higher education takes place; where our students’ dreams for a better future come true; and where they become the talent Minnesota absolutely must have if it is going to continue to thrive in today’s knowledge-based global economy.”
In addition to the asset preservation recommendation, Governor Dayton also recommended that the legislature fund capital projects on 16 different campuses, including the Weld Hall renovation and addition.
“These capital projects are designed to directly benefit students and provide a much-needed expansion of training and education in fields such as allied health, nursing, trades, STEM disciplines, business, information technology, education, and the liberal arts,” said Malhotra. “I’m very grateful for Governor Dayton’s leadership and advocacy for public higher education, for the students who benefit from it, and for the state’s future workforce.”
For additional information about the Minnesota State 2018 Capital Request, visit minnstate.edu/legislative.