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Additional Building Funds Will Not Be Sought From Donors

May 1, 1997

UW–Madison will not get from the state the remaining $5 million needed for a new pharmacy building, but it will not have to raise the money privately.

The State Building Commission on April 23 approved a $499 million capital budget for 1997-99 that includes plans for the pharmacy facility as part of the Healthstar Initiative. The university was seeking $15 million from the state for the building to match $15 million in private donations and $15 million in state money already committed. Campus officials were also seeking $12 million for heating and cooling equipment.

The state came up $5 million short of those two requests, but directed the university to cover the shortfall in other ways, says Bruce Braun, vice chancellor for facilities and planning. Braun says the funding could come from deferring equipment purchases to future capital budgets or by combining space in the pharmacy building with the Health Sciences Learning Center.

“The Building Commission agreed that we do not have to raise the $5 million through fundraising but through other ways,” Braun says.

Chancellor David Ward has said raising an additional $5 million from private donors would be nearly impossible.

The pharmacy building, the Health Sciences Learning Center and an Interdisciplinary Research Complex make up Healthstar, a six-year project designed to address facilities needs for biomedical research and health professions education. Healthstar’s total cost is $225 million, with $87 million from state borrowing, $120 million from university gifts and grants, and $18 million in parking revenue.

The Building Commission added the pharmacy building and $18 million for parking to Healthstar in the next two-year capital budget. The pharmacy building had been planned as a separate project. The $18 million for parking, meanwhile, will come from parking receipts.

In total, the 1997-99 capital budget provides UW–Madison with $22 million in new state-supported borrowing, $25 million in gifts and grants, and $18 million in parking revenue, all for the Healthstar project. It also approves $12.5 million in other self-financed construction projects.

Overall, the $499 million capital budget for the next two years includes $265.5 million in state-supported bonding. The rest will come from gifts, grants and program revenue.

Of the $265.5 million, the UW System is receiving $45.1 million while the state prison system is getting $117 million. The Building Commission included an extra $6 million in bonding authority for equipment maintenance at UW Centers.

UW–Madison and UW System officials say the capital budget is an improvement over preliminary figures released earlier in the month. At the same time, they express concern that the state is pouring money into prisons while forcing the UW system to rely more on gifts and grants and deferring university projects to future budgets.

“The pressure is on,” Braun says. “They keep raising the bar for us.”

The Board of Regents had requested $121.6 million in capital money over the next two years, emphasizing that the full amount was needed to address overdue construction and renovation projects system-wide.

The UW–Madison self-financed projects approved by the Building Commission include a $3 million softball grandstand, a $1 million crew house renovation, a $1.8 million renovation to Eagle Heights apartments, and a $3 million replacement of the Arlington swine research facility destroyed by fire two years ago.

In addition, the capital budget provides $20 million in 1999-2000 for the Engineering Center project of the Wisconsin Initiative for State Technology and Applied Research (WISTAR) program.

The Building Commission deferred the $15.6 million state-financed renovation of Biotron, a 30-year-old building that is one of the only sites in the nation that offers totally controlled-environment research.

The $4.95 million renovation of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation building, to be financed by university gifts and grants, was deferred as well. The renovation would provide academic office space for the Medical School’s primary care and preventative medicine programs.

The capital budget now moves to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance for consideration as part of the state’s two-year budget plan.