If at first you don’t succeed in getting state support for a building project, try again.
The University of Iowa is seeking approval to ask the state for $6 million in fiscal 2015 to pay for the design of a new Pharmacy Building to replace an outdated structure used since 1961.
This is after Gov. Terry Branstad in June vetoed $3 million for the planning and design of the same building, saying he wanted the UI to secure funding first. The total cost of the project has since increased from $92.6 million to $96.3 million. The portion the UI is seeking from the state has also gone up by 4 percent to $70.3 million.
“The project has been delayed, which results in increases in construction costs,” Regents Spokesperson Sheila Doyle Koppin said Wednesday.
The request is part of the nearly $690 million Iowa’s public universities and special schools are seeking in state-funded capital projects over the next five years. The schools want to spend another $485 million on new buildings, renovations and repairs funded through other sources.
The regents will consider the plan at a meeting Sept. 10-11 in Cedar Falls. Approval of the five-year capital request does not bind the regents to specific projects, each of which must be brought forward to the nine-member board.
The university and special schools’ projects would be funded through academic revenue bonds. The UI Hospitals and Clinics would pay for its $205.3 million in capital improvements over the next five years with hospital building usage funds and revenue bonds.
A new Pharmacy Building has been at the top of the UI’s deferred maintenance priority list for some time. The aging building with outdated mechanical and electrical systems doesn’t meet the needs of the college, which has placed 100 percent of its graduates for the last 10 years, the UI reported.
The $6 million requested for fiscal 2015 would cover design of the new building, with an additional $64.3 million in construction costs to be included in the fiscal 2016-2018 budget. The state funds would be leveraged with $26 million in private donations and earnings from the college, the UI reported.
The UI originally requested $6 million for planning last year, but that was cut in half by the Iowa Legislature.
Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa are also coming back again to secure planning money vetoed by Branstad in June.
ISU wants $5 million in fiscal 2015 to plan for a new Biosciences Building. The construction cost of the building is $75 million, of which two-thirds would be covered by state funds. The remaining $25 million would be in donations.
UNI would like $3 million toward a $12.9 million renovation of the Schindler Education Center.