Mar 082010
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

In a move that one student government leader said could put the university out of financial reach for some students, CSU’s Facilities Department may be asking students to pitch an extra $300 next year to fund five major construction projects.

Added to the $300 full-time students already pay in student facility fees annually, the largest fee increase requested in five years allows for renovations that would add to CSU’s prestige, said Associated Students of CSU Vice President Tim Hole.

But on top of the 9 percent tuition hike approved for the 2010-2011 academic year, the increase will be a burden on students, said Hole, also chair of the Student Fee Review Board.

CSU President Tony Frank will explore the possibility of the increase and accept student, faculty and staff feedback in an informational session today at 4:30 p.m. in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. Managers of the proposed projects will attend the forum, said CSU’s chief spokesperson Brad Bohlander.

SFRB is an advisory board chaired by Hole that makes a recommendation on how to allocate $25 million annually in student fees –– or $578.06 for each student every semester –– to university administration.

Students contribute almost $4 million in fees each semester to Facilities, Hole said, making it SFRB’s largest appropriation of money.

The department has not yet requested the fee increase from SFRB, Hole said. Discussions today are preliminary, as the CSU System Board of Governors will make the final decision to approve the increase.

Currently, all but $500,000 of the $6 million Facilities receives is used to pay the university’s bond payments.

The majority of the capital construction is funded by multi-million dollar loans –– bonds the university is mandated to repay within 30 years –– from large investment corporations on Wall Street. CSU is paying on two bond sets, which are slated to be repaid in 2037 and 2038.

If approved, the fees would fund five projects on CSU’s construction wish list, a range of capital construction endeavors the university will complete if there is money leftover in the budget.

Hole said the suggested renovations and construction plans are:
The Eddy Building,
The Morgan Library,
The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT),
The Animal Sciences Building, and
The addition of another Engineering Building.

CSU’s Engineering Program’s success is hindered by size, Hole said, and an expansion would allow it to enter the ranks with other top-tier institutions.

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Open forum with President Frank
What: The UFFAB (University Facility Fee Advisory Board) will host this open forum with President Tony Frank and department representatives supporting the proposed capital construction projects for bonding funded by a possible student fee increase.
When: Today, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Lory Student Center, North Ballroom

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