Trustees forward renovation projects to full board for vote

March 1, 2010 | News, UToday
By Jon Strunk

Members of The University of Toledo Board of Trustees Finance Committee last week agreed to move three renovation projects and a resolution supporting the state’s Third Frontier research funding to the full board for its consideration in March.

The Finance Committee listened to a presentation from Chuck Lehnert, vice president for facilities and construction, requesting approval of capital funds to support renovations for:

• The Center for Performing Arts — $2 million;

• The third floor of Snyder Memorial Building — $1 million; and

• Renovations to Wolfe Hall — $2.3 million.

President Lloyd Jacobs had invited students from the departments of Music and Theatre and Film to attend, and several dozen showed up in support of the renovation funding for the Center for Performing Arts. Jacobs asked several students to join trustees around the table as trustees discussed the state of the building.

Asked for comment by Board Chair Olivia Summons and Board Vice Chair Bill Fall, students highlighted the building’s many deficiencies. Jacobs echoed many of the comments, saying the building’s exterior was sound, but the interior needed a great deal of work.

The need for Wolfe Hall renovations will come as the upper division students in the College of Pharmacy complete their move to Health Science Campus. Lehnert said UT had secured an additional $5.6 million in grant and state capital funding to augment the $2.3 million UT would contribute.

Trustees also forwarded to the full board a recommendation to approve a resolution in support of the Ohio Third Frontier. Third Frontier funding will be on the ballot in May when Ohio voters will be asked to renew funding.

Since 2002, Third Frontier has helped create 48,000 jobs in the state by investing tax dollars in innovative companies to create jobs. According to an estimate from SRI International and the Ohio Business Roundtable, taxpayers’ initial investment of $1.35 billion is expected to be fully repaid by 2014 via the economic activity created with the help of the funding.

Meanwhile, trustees also heard a presentation from Dr. Scott Scarborough, senior vice president for finance and administration, outlining the ongoing fiscal year 2011 budget process. The External Affairs Committee also heard a presentation on the recalibration of UT’s strategic plan, an update on a possible relationship with SRI International, and held a discussion on the role UT desires between overseas institutions of higher education.

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