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Board of Regents Update Capital Priorities For Next Budget Cycle

Atlanta — June 9, 1999

Fourteen University System presidents from throughout the state made their way to Atlanta today (June 9) to personally deliver their requests for new campus buildings to Georgia’s Board of Regents. In return, the regents approved a newly revised five-year Major Capital Outlay Priority List totaling $496.1 million in requested major construction projects, that will be considered by the legislature when it reconvenes in January 2000. The capital list, composed each June by the 16-member board of regents, serves as a rolling funding request for consideration by the governor and General Assembly. It will be a major element of the Board of Regents’ Fiscal Year 2001 budget request, to be submitted to the Office of Planning and Budget with the annual budget request in September.

From last year’s list of 26 rank-ordered projects approved by the Board in June 1998 – the second year of the new capital planning process – the General Assembly funded the top six projects on the list for construction at a cost of $133.5 million in its Fiscal Year 1999 Supplemental Budget. While already funded for construction, those six projects still need $13.6 million in funding to pay for the loose equipment associated with their operation.

Besides allocating money for new construction, the legislature also provided funding in the FY ‘99 Supplemental Budget for four projects (numbers nine through 12) to move into the design phase. Projects number seven and eight were already in that category, having received design funding in the FY 1999 Budget. The six design-phase projects will require $107.8 million for construction and loose equipment. In addition, the 14 remaining projects on the 26-project list will require $268 million in funding for design and construction. Together, these 26 existing projects total nearly $390 million in continuing project obligations.

“Both the regents and presidents are pleased with how this process has worked over the past couple of years,” said Chancellor Stephen R. Portch. “Our Principals for Capital Resource Allocation policy have been extremely effective in allowing campus requests to stand on their own merit. Presidents now have the unfettered ability to convince the regents of a project’s potential success in meeting the University System’s and the state’s long-term educational and economic needs. That is our focus, and we are staying on track.”

Portch emphasized that the Board’s decisions are influenced primarily by the need for facilities to accommodate existing and future enrollment growth, required academic programs and the capital priorities that support these two elements. Highest weight is given to instructional facilities, followed by academic support facilities, student support buildings, then finally administrative and infrastructure needs.

The Board’s revised Major Capital Outlay Projects List replaces the dollar amount of those projects funded in the Fiscal Year 2000 budget with 6 new projects totaling $102.1 million. All of the new projects will be added to the end of the existing list.

The updated list is the result of a full day of presidential presentations held on Tuesday at the board’s offices in Atlanta. During these meetings, presidents from 14 of the University System’s colleges and universities presented their cases during 20-minute presentations made directly to the board of regents.

The 14 projects, totaling $335.6 million in requests, were screened from 43 proposals submitted by campus presidents. In evaluating the eligibility of the proposed projects, central office and campus staff adhered to 10 guiding principles for capital facilities approved by the Board in 1997. The regents used those same criteria to individually evaluate and rank the short list of 14 capital requests.

The Board also approved one new payback project request for submission with the budget, at a cost of $11 million. That project will be added to three previously approved payback projects totaling $21 million.

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