April 16, 2009

University Approves 13 New Construction Projects

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Skorton announced yesterday that 13 new construction projects have been approved, working past the construction moratorium issued last November that suspended all major construction projects not currently underway.
The moratorium was issued in order to review and prioritize the projects and capital available to the University. According to the statement, the review is quickly proceeding so that approvals can be made on a case-by-case basis while expenditures and debt are carefully monitored.
The statement also announced that information regarding pending projects will be available to the public through CUinfo under “budget resources.” The link will allow individuals to access specific data regarding projects, including the purpose, justification, funding and status.
According to Tommy Bruce, vice president for University Communications, projects will be posted on the website as they are approved. The University will then periodically put out a group announcement regarding the cleared projects.
Projects currently under review include new buildings, classrooms, laboratory improvements and public safety initiatives. In order to be approved, construction projects must be deemed critical to Cornell’s mission or the life and safety of the community. In addition the project must have appropriate, identified and available funds.
The authorization of the 13 new projects came despite the current economic recession. However, the pace of the approval process will not dramatically change until Cornell’s financial situation recovers. The 13 projects include construction on Barton Hall, Bradfield Hall, Cornell Rowing Center, Duffield Hall MSE Research Lab, the Electric System, KAUST-Cornell Center for Energy and Sustainability at Kimball Hall, Kennedy Hall Landscape Architecture Studio Mezzanine, MacDonald Moot Courtroom, Mary Donlon Hall, the Water System Pipeline, Shoals Marine Lab Subsurface Water Treatment, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Phi.
According to the Cornell Approved Capital Project’s website, the latter projects were all carefully reviewed by the senior administration team, including Skorton, the provost and the executive vice president for finance and administration.
Missing from the list above includes the much-debated Milstein Hall, a stalled addition to the College of Architecture, Art and Planning. According to Bruce, the construction of Milstein Hall is still under review.