I am pleased to provide testimony to the General Assembly for our FY 2023 capital budget request. We greatly appreciate the General Assembly’s ongoing support of our capital requests, which is transforming our campus and the state’s economy. Together, we are constructing the state’s future. The University deeply appreciates all that your support makes possible.
We have three projects in our capital request this year. Two projects, Chemistry Building Wing 1 Replacement and the Interdisciplinary Engineering Building, will provide new and improved space that significantly enhances the University’s research, education, and innovation capabilities. Much of the work in this space will contribute to the state’s skilled workforce and its knowledge economy. The third project, Campuswide Building System and Infrastructure Improvements, will replace failing infrastructure and help prevent major service interruptions, improve safety and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.
As in previous projects, the cutting-edge research and education supported by the chemistry and engineering spaces will translate into new private sector and federal partnerships. For example, the University is now a major innovation hub in fields such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence—greatly enhanced by the General Assembly’s previous capital support. These facilities will have a similar magnetic effect on talent and investment, spurring innovation in fields including energy, sustainability, health, transportation and unmanned vehicle systems.
Facilities renewal needs and space shortages remain our greatest long-term programmatic and fiscal challenges. With these projects, we will advance the state’s strategic goals for the economy and workforce, as well as the 55 percent college completion goal.
Facilities Renewal NeedsWe have an estimated facilities renewal need of over $1.1 billion on our main campus: $850 million for the 8.2 million GSF of state-supported buildings and $300 million for exterior infrastructure such as roads, sidewalks and underground utilities. We are addressing the most critical needs through ten-year CIP and institutional facilities renewal plans.
Two of our CIP projects this year address facilities renewal. One project seeks to renovate and replace portions of the Chemistry Building, a facility in very poor condition. The other project requests $5M to renew failing infrastructure. In some notable cases we have lost major faculty because of sub-par conditions.
Space ShortagesBased on state formulas, we currently have a shortage of 1.35M NASF of state-supported space, which is 24 percent of our existing inventory of about 5.7M NASF. Roughly one half of this shortfall (0.7M NASF) is in research space. These space shortages are very significant and of great concern, and the proposed new Interdisciplinary Engineering Building will help address this. Further details regarding our space shortages are attached.