What the U says about the Senate’s bonding bill

Just got this reaction from the U to the Senate’s public-works funding bill:

Kaler (MPR Photo / Alex Friedrich)

The following is a statement from University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler regarding the Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee’s bonding bill issued today:

“I’d like to thank the Senate Capital Investment Committee and Chair LeRoy Stumpf for their funding proposal and continued support of the U of M.

“The Senate joins their colleagues in the House of Representatives and Governor Dayton in making the University of Minnesota a priority this session. Strong funding for University facilities across the state helps continue a positive direction for higher education investment. Modern facilities will allow the University to continue to be competitive, prepare the state’s future citizens and workforce, and innovate for the benefit of the state’s economic future.”

The Senate bill provides full funding for three U of M projects:

  • $56.7 million for renovations to 87-year-old Tate Laboratory;
  • $12 million for the research laboratory improvement fund, which includes the St. Paul campus aquatic invasive species and bee laboratories; and
  • $10 million for improvements to the University of Minnesota Crookston Wellness Center

The Senate bill devotes partial funding to two more projects:

  • $45 million of $100 million requested for Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR), to maximize and extend the life of current University facilities; and
  • $1.5 million of $24 million requested for a new chemical sciences and advanced materials building on the Duluth campus, to provide research space to advance Minnesota’s mining industry while safeguarding the environment

“In the final days of session we will continue to work with all policymakers to re-emphasize our need for, and reliance on, Higher Education Asset Preservation and Restoration (HEAPR) funds, in addition to funding for our six priority projects,” Kaler said.

The Senate bill excludes funding for a new microbial sciences research building on the St. Paul campus.