University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler will provide media an overview of the University’s 2014 capital request, including $100 million requested for critical Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) projects, at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Room 125 of the State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul.
With the Legislature set to convene next week, the University is requesting $232.7 million in this year’s bonding bill, for six priority projects. Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposal for the University provides $118.7 million of that request, including $40 million for HEAPR and full funding for three additional projects: Tate Laboratory; the research laboratory improvement fund; and the Crookston campus wellness center.
If fully funded, the capital request would enable the University to update old and inefficient buildings and laboratories. U of M research and learning spaces suited for 21st century innovations and industries will help propel the state’s economy forward and fulfill Minnesota workforce needs.
Most of the projects in the University’s request will advance the high-demand science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. A performance metric in the 2013 state omnibus higher education bill mandated that the U increase the number of students graduating with STEM degrees to help meet Minnesota’s growing need for a highly skilled workforce. Adequate facilities are a key component of the drive to achieve that metric.
For more information about the University of Minnesota’s 2014 capital request, which includes facilities improvement projects on all five campuses, visit z.umn.edu/6stepsforward.