UT to invest $30 million to upgrade campus facilities

October 12, 2016 | News, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

The University of Toledo will renovate Parks Tower, the largest residence hall on campus, and other academic and administrative buildings as part of a $30 million investment in campus facilities.

The UT Board of Trustees on Monday approved the issue of $30 million in bonds to address maintenance needs on Main Campus and Health Science Campus.

“This investment will help fund critical deferred maintenance initiatives with a focus on the needs of the students with a majority of the renovations planned for residence halls and academic buildings,” said Lawrence Kelley, executive vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer.

The University plans to use $12 million of the new debt to renovate Parks Tower, which was constructed in 1971 and houses 672 students. The building will receive a new roof, windows, elevators and plumbing to ensure it continues to serve the University’s first-year students for years to come, Kelley said.

In order to facilitate that construction, Carter Hall will be refurbished with $500,000 this year in order to be ready to reopen during the 2017-18 academic year. It has been closed the past two academic years. Academic House also will reopen next year.

Parks Tower then will be closed during the 2017-18 to complete the renovation project. The refurbished Parks Tower will reopen in fall 2018.

Academic buildings including Bowman-Oddy Laboratories, Health and Human Services Building, Health Education Center and University Hall on Main Campus, as well as Collier Building on Health Science Campus, also will receive funding for improvements such as electrical, plumbing and replacement windows.

The University plans to set aside $3.5 million to invest in revenue-generating equipment for UT Medical Center.

In addition to the new bond issue, trustees approved the refinancing of UT’s existing $42 million in bond debt. Taking advantage of lower interest rates, Kelley anticipates the University will reduce its interest payments from about 5 percent to 3.5 percent without extending the terms of those existing loans.

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