Steve Lawrence has some big plans for Central Michigan University.
The vice president for facilities management revealed large space utilization deficits, $129 million in needed building repairs and 20 proposed capital projects during a presentation at the Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday.
A space utilization study revealed a deficit of 73,954 square feet, down from the recommended 210,595 square feet of assignable research laboratory space. Central computer and student center space also topped the list, with a deficit of 6,685 and 30,625 assignable square feet, respectively.
“Obviously, the biosciences building will hope to address that,” said Lawrence, pointing to the lack of laboratory space. “That area will see some improvement in the next four years.”
The biosciences building, scheduled to begin construction this summer, will conclude construction at the end of 2016 and be ready for classes by summer 2017.
A condition assessment, which inspected more than four million square feet of campus facilities, revealed building quality and ranked them on a scale of one to five. Five represents a failure, with nonfunctional equipment that requires attention within the next year or two.
“We had a lot of campus and community engagement,” said Lawrence. “That was one of our goals from the beginning.”
The assessment reports an estimated $129 million in projected repairs, upgrades or replacements over the next 10 years – $7.3 million of which will help update facilities listed as a failure.
“Most of our buildings are over 40 years old on campus,” said Lawrence. “Some of the systems within the buildings, primarily the mechanical and electrical systems, are functioning well beyond their useful lives. That’s a challenge that we need to meet.”
University President George Ross, however, makes no promises.
“We, like other universities, do facilities master plans,” he said. “The last one we did was 10 or 12 years ago. You make an attempt to show priorities for projects and facilities. Being on the list does not mean it’s going to get done.”
Also included in Lawrence’s presentation was a 10-year plan for 20 new projects – including renovations to Brooks and Pearce halls, a new plaza space between the Charles V. Park Library and the Bovee University Center, and an administration building for the College of Business, although those projects were not brought up for a vote at the meeting.
“Even though we have a pretty good budget, you can see that $5.7 million a year will not address the spectrum of costs,” Lawrence said.
According to Lawrence, the current budget, which rests at $5.7 million, is going to need to be increased. Listed in the capital budget, university expenses reached $9.5 million in deferred maintenance spending for 2013-14.