Miami University's comprehensive long-range capital plan moved closer to reality Dec. 12 following approval by Miami's board of trustees of design work and/or actual construction for several major projects.
This is an investment in Miami's future, said Richard Norman, vice president for finance and business services. The grandchildren of todays students will still benefit from the projects approved today.
The board unanimously voted to:
- Approve awarding contracts for construction of Miamis first new residence hall since Havighurst was built in 1983.
The apartment-style project, to be built south of the Recreational Sports Center, will house about 430 students when it opens in fall 2005. Each unit will include four bedrooms, a common kitchen/living area and two bathrooms.
Universities nationwide have built or are building apartment-style complexes rather than traditional dormitories. The $31 million project is self-supporting and will be paid for by revenue bonds with no tax or tuition dollars involved, according to university officials.
- Approve awarding contracts for construction of a co-generation facility that involves an addition to the Miami steam plant and installation of natural gas driven electrical generators and associated equipment. The $11.7 million project will allow Miami to save on electrical costs by lowering high-peak demand charges. University officials estimate the project will pay for itself within seven years.
- Approve awarding contracts not to exceed $3.5 million for the design of the planned Warfield Hall renovation and a new home for the Richard T. Farmer School of Business. The contracts will include architectural and engineering design services.
Warfield Hall, which houses student affairs offices, was built in 1962 to serve a campus of 8,200 students rather than the current 16,000 total.
Laws Hall, current home of the business school, was built in 1959. It can only accommodate about half of the schools faculty and 4,500 business students. Construction of a new facility that will feature the latest technology is expected to begin in 2006.
- Approved awarding contracts for improvements to Yager Stadium, including replacing the east stands, which were moved from the old Miami stadium, and lighting the field to enable evening games to be played ($5.5 million). The lighting, scoreboard and Cradle of Coaches plaza portion of the project are being funded by donations.
- Approved awarding contracts for a variety of infrastructure projects including installation of utilities for a planned new psychology building ($845,000); an Ohio 73 sidewalk project that will connect to the Ditmer parking lot ($992,000); relocating sanitary sewers and installing a new telephone and network service for the southwest area of campus ($750,000); building a drive from Patterson Street to the Withrow parking lot and installing underground utilities and a storm drainage system ($697,000).
- Hamilton campus projects approved included a greenhouse/conservatory facility that is being paid for totally by a donor ($1.25 million) and the 1385 Peck Boulevard project which involves renovating a former International Paper building for various academic uses, including the nursing program ($2.04 million).
The Oxford and Hamilton campus projects will be funded by a variety of methods, including state capital appropriations, user fees, university money and donations.
The actions taken today are a strong indication of Miamis intent to not just keep up, but to stay ahead, said Norman.