How much MnSCU wants from the state for construction and renovation

Minnesota's public colleges and universities are preparing to ask the state next year for about 14 percent less than in recent years for campus construction and renovation.

The amount, almost $228 million, makes up most of MnSCU's $287 million capital program.

More than half would go to new construction, and a little less than 40 percent would go toward renovation. The rest would go toward demolition projects.

Brian Yolitz, MnSCU's associate vice chancellor for facilities, said system officials are under pressure to save money and will focus on maintaining existing buildings rather than building new ones.

He told me:

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"The board continues to impress upon us and the system leadership to take care of what we've got. And I think that's reflective of this. I think you'll see not as many construction projects."

Those projects are posted above, along with a list of this past year's priorities, which are being rolled into the new request. That's because higher-education projects were excluded from a pared-down bonding bill for state construction work last month.

After Chancellor Steven Rosenstone told the board of trustees this morning:

"This is a very disciplined request. It's not figuring out, 'So how much can we possibly ask (for) and therefore let's go ask for what we possibly could get,' but rather, 'What are the top priorities that really have to be met?' This is not a wish-we-could-do list. This is a must-do list of things that are absolutely essential."

Since 2006, MnSCU has received less than half the construction-and-renovation money it has asked for -- something apparent in the last chart.

(Note: Yolitz told me the figures in the "Request" column are not compatible with the current request figure. I'll have to check that out some more.)

Trustees are scheduled to vote whether to approve the request later this month.