Michigan Tech News

Michigan Tech Board of Control Approves Bonds for $24 Million in Capital Projects

Last Modified 3:41 PM on Mon Jul 20, 2009

906-487-4521, 

By Jennifer Donovan

March 5, 2009—

At its regular meeting today, Michigan Technological University's Board of Control approved issuing bonds totaling more than $24 million for capital improvement projects that include
* A student residential apartment complex: $16.5 million.
* Great Lakes Research Center: $6.8 million.
* Keweenaw Research Center expansion: $1 million.

Last August, the Board authorized the University to proceed with design development on the residential apartment complex, which will add 192 beds to student housing. The design phase has been completed, and the estimated total cost of the project is $16.5 million. At today's meeting, the Board authorized the University to proceed with final design and bidding for the student apartments and to issue general revenue bonds to cover the cost. Prompting the decision to build this complex are the rising enrollments of recent years and the loss of some capacity in Wadsworth Hall due to its renovation.

The State of Michigan has approved $25 million for a Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Tech. The University's share of the project is 25 percent or $6,250,000. The Board authorized the University to proceed with final design and bidding for the research center on the campus waterfront and to issue revenue bonds to cover the University's share of the cost.

Last winter, the Board authorized lending $1 million to the Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) to enable construction of a new Design Center at the KRC's Houghton County Memorial Airport location. During the design phase, the scope of the project was expanded, so today the Board approved increasing the total project to $2 million. An increase in funded research activity by the KRC will provide revenue to pay back the University.

Board members also approved the first phase of renovation of the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena, at a cost of up to $1 million, to be financed by a $1 million gift from Ruanne and John Opie. The project includes expanding the existing corner suites at the west end of the building. The suites, which now hold 20 people, will be enlarged to accommodate 50 people each. The project also includes 10 to 12 private suites that will be rented out by the season, and a face-lift for the entrances. All of the suites will generate additional revenue from rental fees and catering services.

The Board also
* Welcomed newly appointed Board member Paul Ollila.

* Approved forwarding proposals for a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering to state academic officers for consideration.

* Approved a reduced Experience Tech activities fee of $32 for students attending the summer sessions, when only the Portage Lake Golf Course and the Gates Tennis Center are open.

* Approved awarding an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters to Lt. Colonel Otha Thornton, a Michigan Tech alumnus who helped lead the Army ROTC at Tech from 1999 to 2001. Thornton, who now works as a presidential communications officer in the White House Communications Agency, will be the keynote speaker at Michigan Tech's May commencement.

* Approved extending the quiet phase of the current capital campaign one year, to June 30, 2010, due to current economic conditions and newly identified major gift prospects.

* Recognized a number of new research awards, including $10 million over five years to the Keweenaw Research Center from the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive and Armaments Command.

Michigan Technological University is a leading public research university, conducting research, developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, forestry and environmental sciences, computing, technology, business and economics, natural and physical sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences.

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.

Original URL: http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2009/march/story9822.html