Public colleges want more funding for building repairs

Public colleges want more funding for building repairs

November 15, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


AM 22NEWS. BARRY: INVESTING IN HIGHER EDUCATION. 22NEWS STATE HOUSE REPORTER ELISHA MACHADO IS IN BOSTON WHERE EDUCATION LEADERS ARE ASKING THE STATE TO HELP FINANCE BUILDING REPAIRS. ELISHA MACHADO: MANY OF THE STATE’S PUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES’ BUILDINGS ARE MORE THAN 50 YEARS OLD AND IN NEED OF REPAIRS. TOP EDUCATION LEADERS ARE CALLING ON THE STATE TO INVEST MORE IN BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS. THE BAKER-POLITO ADMINISTRATION’S CAPITAL BUDGET INCLUDES MORE THAN $190-MILLION DOLLARS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION NEXT FISCAL YEAR. MORE THAN 80 PERCENT OF THE INVESTMENT IS EXPECTED TO GO TOWARD MAINTENCE AND MODERNIZATION PROJECTS FOR ACADEMIC BUILDINGS…MANY OF WHICH DATE BACK TO THE 1960S. BUT TOP EDUCATION LEADERS SAY IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO ADDRESS A GROWING MAINTENANCE ISSUES. MASSACHUSETTS PUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES HAVE A MAINTENANCE BACKLOG OF ABOUT $5.5-BILLION DOLLARS, ACCORDING TO SECRETARY OF EDUCATION JAMES PEYSER. IN 2008, THE STATE’S HIGHER EDUCATION BOND AUTHORIZED $1.1 BILLION DOLLARS FOR UMASS PROJECTS OVER 10 YEARS. UMASS MANAGEMENT IS ASKING THE STATE TO PASS ANOTHER HIGHER EDUCATION BOND. LISA CALISE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR ADMINISTRATION & FINANCE, UMASS: “THE CURRENT ANNUAL SPENDING FOR THE UMASS SYSTEM IS HAS ONLY BEEN SUFFICIENT TO PREVENT OUR DEFFERRED MAINTENACNE BACKLOG FROM GROWING.” ELISHA MACHADO: THE STATE HAS HELPED FUND MAJOR PROJECTS FOR UMASS AMHERST INCLUDING A $160-MILLION DOLLAR CUTTING-EDGE LIFE SCIENCES