Legislative Update No. 6
REBUILDING, RENEWING AND ENHANCING
THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
This SIXTH in a series of reports to Governor John G. Rowland and the Connecticut General Assembly
UCONN 2000: THE UPDATE
This is the sixth in a series of semi-annual reports to the Governor and the General Assembly pursuant to the provisions of Sections 10a-109 through 10a-109m of the Connecticut General Statutes, originally An Act to Enhance the Infrastructure of the University of Connecticut, and now known as UCONN 2000.
UCONN 2000: THE MASTER PLAN
On November 14, 1997 the University Board of Trustees adopted the Master Plan, the long-range comprehensive plan for the renewal and enhancement of UCONN’s physical infrastructure. The University of Connecticut’s Master Plan was commissioned to respond to two significant events: the adoption of the Strategic Plan by the Board of Trustees in 1995 and the passage in the same year of Public Act 95-230, the law popularly referred to as UCONN 2000, by the Connecticut General Assembly. UCONN 2000 is an opportunity the likes of which the University has never before seen, and it was deemed essential that its implementation embody the Board of Trustees’ new vision for the University’s renaissance.
The development of the Master Plan took 18 months and involved hundreds of people. The planning process was overseen by the University administration and the Master Plan Advisory Committee, a group broadly representative of the University community. As a prelude to plan development, the Committee formulated the following overarching guiding themes:
- Create a user-friendly campus.
- Strengthen ease of navigation for those with disabilities.
- Improve safety.
- Provide adequate and convenient parking and shuttle services.
- Improve the “readability” of the campus for the visitor as well as the resident.
- Promote multipurpose design.
- Incorporate and understand the importance of technology infrastructure.
- Build for the future.
- Accept only qualified construction that will last over time.
- Design with long-term maintenance in mind.
- Create buildings that further our mission of teaching, research and outreach.
- Facilitate an open and welcoming environment.
- Create a physical entity that reflects the quality of our academic programs.
- Maintain consistent architectural themes that blend and complement existing buildings.
- Visually capitalize on our New England heritage and beautiful surroundings.
- Maintain our historical integrity while promoting institutional capacity to address the future.
- Integrate social, residential and academic life.
- Create an environment that nurtures interaction and communication.
- Provide space and amenities (both inside and outside buildings) that invite the exchange of ideas such as benches, pathways and common areas.
- Allow sufficient room for student activities.
- Emphasize a sense of community that will engender respect for our physical environment.
- Commit to and follow through on the Master Plan once adopted.
- Accept the need to set priorities and make tough decisions.
- Coordinate with other Strategic Plan activities (especially academic priorities).
- Provide ongoing care of the physical plant.
- Establish a process for ongoing planning, review and communication/coordination with the community in which the campus is located.
Master Plan Framework
The Master Plan Advisory Committee initially focused its deliberations on the establishment of planning principles and goals. From that effort grew the primary elements of the plan and the vision of a reborn campus.
The Planning Principles are:
- Respect what is already in place.
- All campus elements must inter-relate.
- A campus is about people, not just buildings.
The Planning Goals encompass:
- Establishing a clear organizational concept.
- Developing an articulated hierarchy of space and plans.
- Creating a humane campus in space, function and materials.
- Providing a framework for growth which builds from existing elements and allows for future growth in support of the plan’s primary elements.
The Master Plan’s primary elements include:
- Pedestrian-only campus core.
- Distinct “neighborhoods” throughout campus.
- Set of major walkways, highlighted by the Academic Way.
- New open space for social and intellectual interaction.
- A major plaza in campus academic core.
The campus will feature:
- Buildings clustered around organized open space.
- A strong center of activity in the heart of campus.
- Open spaces linking the pedestrian corridor system.
- Preserved East Lawn, Mirror Lake and Swan Lake environs.
- Academic uses in the central campus area.
- Intersecting walkways and the existing campus grid.
- Open space and landscape improvements to visually unite the campus on both sides of Route 195.
- A new system of roadways, eliminating auto-pedestrian clashes.
UCONN 2000: ACTIVITIES COMPLETED OR UNDERWAY
- The Agricultural Biotechnology Center project is out to bid. Since expected levels of matching federal funds have not materialized, the project scope has been reduced to focus on the research lab portion of the building. If the additional federal funds ($6 million) become available, the facility will be expanded to reflect the project as originally planned. Bids are due May 5, 1998 with project completion scheduled July 1999.
- Construction documents are under review for the Litchfield Agricultural Center project. This $1,350,000 facility will contain approximately 10,000 square feet of space for the Cooperative Extension Service in Litchfield County. The Litchfield Agricultural Center is dedicating a $350,000 grant towards the project cost. It is estimated the construction will be completed July 1999.
- Design development drawings are being prepared for a new School of Business Administration building. This 100,000 square foot building will be built on Hillside Road across from the Gampel Pavilion. This project’s funding will be augmented by $4 million to be raised from private donations. The project will be bid in Fall, 1998.
- Program planning for the Student Union Addition project has begun. This project, which will include renovations and a major addition to the current facility, has a primary goal of expanding the range of activities available to students in the campus core.
- Planning activities for the renovations of the Waring Chemistry building have been completed. Present plans are for the building to house the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offices, the English Department and the Geography Department. The project includes the creation of additional classrooms. This project will be bid in Summer, 1999.
- Design work has begun on the renovation of the Northwest Quad Dormitories, including a new Central Dining Facility for the complex which will eliminate the small kitchens that currently exist in each of the seven buildings. This change will reduce operating costs for dining services while providing additional support space in each building. The dorm rooms will be renovated similar to the rooms at the South Campus Dormitories. The project will be bid in Summer, 1999.
- Architectural design is underway for an addition to Storrs Hall for the School of Nursing. Funds for the addition will be raised through private donations while funds for renovation will come through UCONN 2000. The project schedule will be dependent on these fundraising activities.
- A key component of the University of Connecticut’s Master Plan is to create a pedestrian core for the campus. The first step in this direction is the closing of Fairfield Road to vehicular traffic and its reopening as a pedestrian mall. Design activity has begun, with construction to start in Summer 1998. As part of this project, Mansfield Road will be extended to Glenbrook Road to create an inner-campus shuttle bus loop. The road extension project will be completed this summer.
- The University has selected four firms to provide on-call analysis support as needed for claims made by contractors during the construction process, as well as recommendations to assist the University in the avoidance of claims.
- The University has selected, through a competitive process, Architectural and Engineering firms to provide services on an on-call basis. Firms were selected in the following categories:
- Civil Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Interior Design
- The Facilities Management Home Page on the World Wide Web continues to be very successful in providing information to interested parties. The site has been visited over 5,900 times since its introduction in October 1996. It provides an e-mail alert list for those firms that have Internet access in order to inform them of project opportunities at the University as part of UCONN’s efforts to provide wider distribution of professional service solicitations.
- The University of Connecticut rolled out its Master Plan on March 3, 1998. In addition to its overarching thematic structure, the plan provides standards to ensure common design perspective, architectural elements and material use in our building program.
- Since the last report, three bond authorizations for projects authorized prior to UCONN 2000 have received favorable action by the State Bond Commission. These projects are:
- New Central Warehouse
- Avery Point Marine Science Center
- Music and Drama/Music Additions and Renovations
Three additional projects authorized prior to the adoption of the UCONN 2000 legislation await action by the State Bond Commission. These projects are:
- Mansfield Training School Improvements
- Ice Rink Enclosure
- Gant Plaza Deck Repair
- With the building and renovation program, the University of Connecticut has begun the process of standardizing building systems and system components. This standardization process will reduce the number of replacement parts the University needs to inventory and improve the level of maintenance within available resources.
- The success of the Owners Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP) continues, enabling the University to add scope of work within budget for each project. The University is looking into carrying the OCIP into Phase II UCONN 2000 projects.
- The University of Connecticut has announced a partnership with Pfizer, Inc., for the building of a facility on the Storrs campus that will house an Animal Vaccine Research Center. Pfizer, Inc., will fund the building project on land leased from the University for one dollar a year. The University will occupy 20% of the space in the building. This collaboration will serve as a model for the University as it explores other activities with Connecticut industry.
- Classes began in January 1998 at the new downtown Stamford facility. This project, which involved the renovation of the 230,000 square foot former Bloomingdale’s building, was open for classes 16 months after construction started. The building will be dedicated in April with all construction activity finished in August. The project moved forward despite the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Guy F. Atkinson Company, the parent firm of this project’s general contractor, Walsh Construction Company of Trumbull, Connecticut. In January 1998 the assets of Atkinson were purchased by Clark Construction of Bethesda, Maryland. The bonding company for this project (and for the Chemistry project) has contracted with Clark to manage the completion of both projects.
- After action by the State Bond Commission on $1,318,000 of the funding for the Avery Point Marine Science project, a construction contract was awarded to C. R. Klewin of Norwich, Connecticut. This project includes a new 137,000 square foot research building, an 30,000 square foot project Oceanology building, and a new central chilled water plant. The project will be completed in May 2000. Along with the renovations to the Branford House and the replacement of the utility systems which will both be completed in the fall, the Avery Point project will vastly improve research facilities for our Marine Science program.
- The Chemistry Building project is on track for completion in August 1998. The six floor building is a 200,000 square foot steel structure with block/brick face and metal roof construction. It houses teaching, research and administrative facilities, with each occupying a separate wing. Construction of the building began December 2, 1996.
- The South Campus Residential and Dining Hall will see the three dormitory facilities ready for occupancy in August 1998. The Dining Facility will be completed in October 1998. The dormitories will house 674 students in single rooms with a suite set-up. Construction on this project began in June 1997.
- On January 26, 1998 a construction contract was awarded to HRH/Atlas of Stamford, Connecticut for the Biological Sciences project. The building is a seven-story 145,000 square foot facility designed for biology and physics research. The exterior of the building will be brick veneer; a glass greenhouse will occupy the roof. The project is scheduled for completion in August 1999.
- On December 16, 1997, Precision Power Incorporated of Hamden, Connecticut, was awarded a construction contract for the Central Heating Plant project. This plant will provide for centralized chilled water, fire pumps, and emergency power for all buildings in the central campus and technology quad areas. The project will also provide for the connection of chilled water, fire protection, emergency power, primary power, telecommunications, steam and domestic water within a utility tunnel in the technology quad. The project is scheduled for completion February 1999 and serves as an excellent example of the University’s commitment to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility for the entire UCONN 2000 effort.
- On January 22, 1998 the North Parking Garage was opened to provide parking for 1,035 cars. The only remaining work to be completed is the exterior landscaping. Construction activity on this design/build project began in July 1997. The contractor for the project was O & G Industries of Torrington, Connecticut.
- On December 15, 1997 a construction contract was awarded to Konover Construction of West Hartford, Connecticut for the South Campus Chiller project. In addition to chilled water, this project provides emergency power and centralized fire protection for buildings on the south side of campus. The project will be completed July 1, 1998.
- On January 15, 1998 a construction contract was awarded to O & G Industries of Torrington, Connecticut for the Music and Drama/Music Additions and Renovations project. Included in the project are a new Orchestra Building, a new Music Library Building, and renovations to the existing Music and Drama/Music buildings. The project is scheduled for completion in September 1999.
- On March 10, 1998 a construction contract was awarded to Carlin Construction of Waterford, Connecticut on the White Building code project. Included in the project is the upgrading of the Dairy Bar. The project is scheduled for completion May 1999.
- Construction activity was stopped on the new Central Warehouse facility in March 1998 after discovery of solid waste material under the parking lot at the project site. The University is working with the Department of Environmental Protection on solutions to this issue so that the project can move forward in a timely and environmentally appropriate manner.
- Babbidge Library repairs are continuing under the management of the Department of Public Works. The project is scheduled for completion in August 1998.
PRIVATE FINANCIAL SUPPORT
- The UCONN 2000 endowment matching gift program has been a resounding success, resulting in unprecedented levels of giving from alumni and other friends of the University.
- To date, the $20 million in state dollar match to private gifts as provided by the UCONN 2000 legislation is either in-hand or fully committed. During the first year of the program, $9.1 million in gifts was received. During calendar year 1997, an additional $6.5 million was received and, fiscal year-to-date, $500, 000 has been received. The remaining $3.8 million will be collected by December 31, 1998 in order to be eligible to receive the full match from the State.
- In recognition of the program’s success, the General Assembly enacted a continuation and restructuring of the match on a 1:2 basis (one state dollar to every two private dollars). From Fiscal Year 2000 to Fiscal Year 2007, the state grant may total up to $52.5 million, depending on the level of donations actually received. To date, $1.8 million in pledges has been received against the newly enacted 1:2 matching gift program.
- The $9.1 million in state funds to match the private gifts received in 1996 was paid in December 1997 and immediately invested.
- In February 1998, the Board of Trustees submitted to the State a request for $6.8 million in matching funds to be paid against the endowment gifts received in 1997. It is expected that the match will be paid by the State before the end of calendar year 1998.
- The size of individual gifts has increased dramatically since the inception of the UCONN 2000 matching gifts program. As of March 31, 1998, 57 donors made contributions of between $25,000 and $99,999. During the same period, 18 donors made gifts of $100,000 or more.
- The total endowment assets for the University were $118 million at March 31, 1998. The Foundation’s total endowment assets were $104 million (this amount does not include the state match), which represents growth of 21% over the balance of $86 million at June 30, 1997.
As of April 3, 1998, $317.7 million of total project authorizations has been allocated and approved for bonding by the Board of Trustees and the Governor.
On February 21, 1996, “The University of Connecticut General Obligation Bonds 1996 Series A”, the first series of bonds secured by the State’s Debt Service Commitment, were issued in the amount of $83.9 million. On April 24, 1997, “The University of Connecticut General Obligation Bonds 1997 Series A” were issued in the amount of $124.4 million. Major projects funded through these first two issuances include the Chemistry Building, Stamford Downtown Campus Relocation, the Avery Point Marine Sciences Research Center, the Parking Garage, Deferred Maintenance work and Capital Equipment purchases.
As of April 30, 1997, the UCONN 2000 Debt Service Commitment bonds were rated “AA-” by Standard & Poors, “A-1” by Moody’s Investors Service, and “AA-” by Fitch Investors Service. In addition, certain maturities of bonds are insured with “AAA” rated municipal bond insurance. The State Treasurer managed the Debt Service Commitment Bond sale process and invested the proceeds for these issues.
The University is also authorized to issue Special Obligation Revenue bonds. Unlike the Debt Service Commitment bonds (for which debt service is paid out of the State’s General Fund), the Special Obligation Bonds are paid for out of certain pledged revenues of the University as defined in the particular bond series indenture.
On February 4, 1998, the University issued $33.6 million of the University of Connecticut Student Fee Revenue Bonds 1998 Series A. The University managed the issuance and sale of these bonds and realized a favorable true interest cost of 5.01% over the twenty-nine year term. The main source of repayment of the bonds is the Infrastructure Maintenance student fee.
The majority of the proceeds of the Revenue Bond issue will be used to finance a portion of the cost of the South Campus residential halls and consolidated dining hall facility. Additionally, part of the proceeds were use to fund a Special Capital Reserve Fund (“SCRF”). The State SCRF enhancement allowed the bonds to obtain a “AA-” rating from Standard & Poor’s with a positive outlook, a “AA-” rating from Fitch Investors Service, and a “A-1” rating from Moody’s Investors Service. The bonds were subsequently insured by MBIA and upgraded to a “AAA” rating category at Fitch and Standard & Poor’s and “Aaa” at Moody’s Investors Service.
The University, in conjunction with the Office of the State Treasurer, is currently planning a new Debt Service Commitment Bond which has an anticipated issuance schedule of May 1998. Generally, the University plans on issuing a series of bonds at least annually for the duration of the UCONN 2000 Project building period.
CURRENT PROJECT STATUS: UCONN 2000 – PHASE I
CURRENT PROJECT STATUS: UCONN 2000 – PHASE I
|(UCONN 2000 funding only; does not include previous funding or other funding sources.)|
UCONN 2000 Funding*
Completed to date
25% 50% 75% 100%
Facility: Phase 1
|Out to bid.||******************************|
|Avery Pt. Marine Science &
Technology Center: Phase 1
|Babbidge Library Envelope
|Construction completion scheduled 8/98.||******************************||
|Beach Hall Renovations||
|Design to begin FY98/99|
|Benton State Art Museum Addition||
|Project being re-evaluated.||******************************|
|Chemistry – New Building||
|Completion date July 1998.||******************************||
|Deferred Maintenance and Renovation Lump Sum FY 97-98||
|Bidding and awarding contracts for FY97-98 projects.|
|Equipment, Library Collections & Telecommunications FY 97 – 98||
|FY 97/98 Equipment and Library Collections have been ordered.|
|Fairfield Road Pedestrian Mall||
|In design. Construction begins summer 1998.||***********|
|Construction to be integrated with Tech Quad Phase I.||********************|
|Hartford Relocation Design||
|Hartford Relocation Feasibility Study||
|Heating Plant Upgrade||
|Ice Rink Enclosure||
|Litchfield Agricultural Center||
|Design complete. May bid.||*****|
|Mansfield Apartments Renovations||
|North Campus Renovation||
|Design to begin FY98/99.|
|North Superblock Site & Utilities||
|Northwest Quadrant Renovation||
|Parking Garage – North||
|Pharmacy – New Building Phase I||
|Study completed. Design to begin FY98/99.||****|
|School of Business – New Building||
|Schematic design complete. Design development underway.||**************|
|South Campus Dorms & Dining Hall: Old & New||
|Construction started 6/15/97.||******************************||
|Stamford – Relocation to Downtown: Phase I||
|Classes began January 20, 1998. Construction to be complete August 1, 1998.||******************************||
|Tech Quad: Phase I-A: Biology & Physics New Building||
|University Programs New Building||
|Project rescoped; to be built and funded through the UConn Foundation.||****|
|Waring Building Conversion||
|Schematic design underway.||******|
|Waterbury Property Purchase||
|White Building Code Violation Abatements||
|Wilbur Cross Building Renovation||
CURRENT PROJECTS, FUND SOURCES: UCONN 2000 – PHASE I