March 24, 2000
CONTACT: Jeanne Oswald
(609) 292-4310

Commission Approves $133 Million in Campus Capital Improvements

The New Jersey Commission on Higher Education today acted on the first projects funded through the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund, approving proposals by 11 colleges and universities to use $133 million from the $550 million fund.

All of the campus projects approved today address deferred maintenance, renewal, and renovation of existing buildings, which was the primary intent of the law enacted in September 1999 to assist four-year public and independent colleges in addressing their most pressing capital needs.

The projects vary in scope from major building renovations, to heating and electrical system improvements, to compliance with building or health and safety codes. Some institutions will use their allocations to address multiple needs on one or more campuses; others will apply their funds toward renovation of a single building.

The following institutions received approval for projects: Caldwell College, Centenary College, Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Felician College, Princeton University, Rider University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Montclair State University, William Paterson University, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). The projects range in value from $95 million for UMDNJ to $286,000, which represents a portion of the amount allocated to Stevens Institute of Technology.

The Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund allocates $500 million to senior public institutions and $50 million to independent colleges and universities. While the funds are targeted primarily toward deferred maintenance needs in instructional, laboratory, communication, research, and administrative facilities, institutions may use up to five percent of their allocations to address code requirements in student service facilities such as residence halls.

Following the Commission's action, the Legislature has 45 days to disapprove a project; the project is authorized if the Legislature does not act.

The Educational Facilities Authority is expected to issue the first bonds to finance the approved projects later this spring. Public colleges and universities are required to pay one-third of the debt service on bonds issued for their projects and independent institutions are required to pay one-half of their debt service. The remainder of the debt service will be paid by state appropriations.

A complete description of the approved projects is attached.

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Projects Approved March 24, 2000

Caldwell College will use all of its allocation, $2,293,879, for multiple projects in five facilities: the administration and science buildings, the library, the student center (which includes the gymnasium and various academic facilities), and a residence hall. (Electrical upgrades to the residence hall are projected to be $74,000, less than five percent of the grant.) The total cost of these projects is $2.4 million, and once completed the college will have addressed more than two-thirds of its estimated total deferred maintenance burden.

Centenary College will use its total allocation, $1,728,633, toward the estimated $3.0 million cost of renovating the Seay Administration Building. This renovation project is listed as a top priority in the college's current capital plan and campaign. The overall capital plan includes almost $8.0 million in deferred maintenance, renewal, and renovation projects in academic, administrative, and student support facilities as well as $3.7 million in new construction.

Drew University will use its total allocation, $2,609,502, to finance interior and exterior renovations and improvements to four buildings: the Hall of Sciences, and Madison, Sitterly, and Sycamore Houses, and to address life/safety requirements at Wendel Residence Hall. The last project uses the full five percent allocation for student services facilities toward the cost of an upgraded fire alarm system. The five-year capital program identifies $8.66 million for renewal and renovation.

Fairleigh Dickinson University's total allocation, $6,704,743, will address some of the most critical needs on the campuses in Teaneck/Hackensack (18 separate projects) and Florham/Madison (23 separate projects). These projects include repainting buildings and trim, removal of underground storage tanks, correction of electrical and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and replacement of entryway steps. The university will use almost the entire five percent allowed for student services facilities to correct health and other code violations in residential facilities on both campuses. The university's 1997 deferred maintenance report identified more than $50 million in needs.

Felician College will use its total allocation, $1,858,019, for 13 projects on both the Lodi and Rutherford campuses. These include making buildings accessible to the handicapped, roof replacement, and HVAC upgrades. According to the college's capital plan, its total estimated need for renewal and renovation is $20.9 million.

Princeton University is renovating Green Hall, a 73-year old building for the psychology department and will apply its total $4,129,220 allocation to the $15 million total project cost. Although small portions of the building have been renovated in the past, this is the first systematic approach to upgrading the facility.

Rider University will use $1,054,236 from its allocation of $4,418,292 for four projects identified as the first phase of its grant program. The projects are: abatement of water infiltration and replacement of the roof-top chiller in the business administration building; replacement of the air conditioning system and purchase of an uninterruptible power source for the university's main-frame computer; renovation of the lecture hall and theater; and fire and life/safety code upgrades in residential units. This last project, which exhausts the five percent allowance for student services facilities, involves installing hardwired, monitored fire alarm systems in six units. According to the capital projects plan submitted with the application, the university's total deferred maintenance is $20.1 million.

Stevens Institute of Technology will use $286,275 of its $3,222,452 allocation for three projects completed since July 1, 1999: renovating the third floor of the Lifecycle Product Management Center so that it could be used for laboratories rather than storage; changing the configuration of laboratory space that was in need of renewal; and replacing 40-year old transformers.

Montclair State University will use $12,153,692 of its $28,122,250 allocation to address the most pressing improvements and renovations identified in its short-range capital plan. The major projects consist of various repairs and renovations to College Hall ($5.4 million) and Finley Hall ($1.7 million), HVAC and other upgrades to Richardson Hall and two adjoining buildings ($2.1 million), and repairs to the steam/condensate systems ($950,000). Other projects include installing fire horns and strobes, repairing or replacing roofs, and replacing outdated or failed electrical equipment. The long-term plan identifies an additional $28.6 million for repair and maintenance and $21.7 million related to new construction and major renovation.

William Paterson University will use $4,982,400 of its $23,660,250 allocation for six projects. Three of these involve renovating academic buildings, including faculty offices, laboratories, studios and classrooms. A fourth project entails removing active underground storage tanks. The two other projects address deferred maintenance and increased accessibility by replacing doors as well as the existing ramps and steps leading to them. The university's capital plan identifies more than $21 million each for deferred maintenance and capital renewal, $17.5 million for capital improvements, and $81.5 million for new construction or reconstruction for all categories of buildings.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry will combine its $95,000,000 with $4,384,140 of university funds to support 20 projects across its three campuses. Twelve of the projects are on the Newark campus, and there are four projects each on the Piscataway/New Brunswick and the Stratford campuses. Improvements to the physical plant, including replacing roofs and upgrading fire alarm and suppression systems, total $18.6 million across the three campuses. In Newark, specific projects include consolidating space to house the obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics clinics in Newark and expansion of space for the New Jersey Cancer Center as well as renovations for all of the schools housed on the campus. In Piscataway, the major project is the renovation of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Research Tower and Kessler Teaching Laboratories, including upgrades to the laboratory space. The primary care, specialty care, and science centers on the Stratford campus will each be renovated. With the completion of these projects, current renewal and renovation needs will be met.

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