May 23, 2019
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By Kelsey Reichmann
Editor-in-Chief

While the university sets its sights on a new master plan, they are still being haunted by ghosts of the university’s past, or the deferred maintenance on campus. 

Deferred maintenance refers to facilities on campus that need to be updated, but for some reason or another they got put on the back burner. Usually the reason comes down to the budget. While the university would like to be constantly updating, these things aren’t always possible. 

Last semester, both the  University Theatre and pool had to be closed due to safety issues that had been neglected. Both facilities remained closed this semester, unable for students to use them. 

The theater was closed in October of last year after an inspection declared it unsafe and the pool was closed after President Parham noticed exposed rebar. 

The pool is estimated to cost $1.4 million to fix, Naomi Goodwin, VP of administration and finance, said.

By Glenn Marshall

“It was all the concrete decking and the infrastructure underneath the concreate decking, all the draining systems need to be replaced,” Jonathan Scheffler, director of facilities services, said. 

As for the theater, Goodwin and Scheffler said that they are still waiting for an estimate from a theatre firm. 

“Our goal with the theater is to finish the specifications and then get bids from the individuals that are qualified to do it…and then to have the work completed before the fall semester because we want to be able to use the theatre in the fall semester,”Goodwin said. 

Goodwin said that the university is looking for funding for the pool but does not have a timeline for its completion. She said the current priority is the theater. 

“It’s [the pool] certainly something from an academic programing standpoint that doesn’t have the same kind of use as the theatre does, so the emphasis is really on the theatre at this point,” said Goodwin. 

While these two major facilities were closed last semester, the university has not been completely avoiding its deferred maintenance projects on campus. 

“We’ve done a lot in the past with infrastructure, water line infrastructure underground where we replaced water lines,” said Scheffler. “We went through phase three this last year. We just put a new cooling tower in for our central plant. We are in the process of changing out the central plant, boilers and chillers, which are actually used for making cold water that works the HVAC in all the builds on campus.” 

Next on the list for the university are the elevators in the library. 

But where is all of this money going to come from?

The campus has had a recurring deferred maintenance allocation of $491,000 that has helped it complete projects in the past. It is also hoping to get a good share of Gov. Newsom’s proposed $247 million one-time funding allocation. 

“Obviously we have to go through the process of getting the budget approved,” said Goodwin. “It is one-time funding, it would have been nice to have base funding, but we will be able to do some projects with that and that will be really helpful.” 

The university also started a four-year plan for deferred maintenance that adds $250,000 per semester to the deferred maintenance budget said Goodwin. 

“So the first year was last year and it was $250,000,” said Goodwin. “This year $500,000. Next year it will be $750,00 and the following year it will be a million. That will be then base funding. That million dollars will then continue year after year after year as what the campus would then be allocating itself towards deferred maintenance on top of the money that we get from the chancellor’s office.” 

The university routinely does assessments to determine what needs to be repaired or replaced. Scheffler said they are looking to do another assessment after its ast one in 2015. 

“We get an analysis of each building and then each building gets a scoring number,” said Scheffler. “Then it’s broken down by cost for each of the projects that need to be completed on campus. Our sightlines report originally that the facility condition analysis was built off was at $36 million in deferred maintenance at the time and now the FCA is actually higher than that when everything is said and done.” 

However, some deferred maintenance projects will get taken care of with the new master plan.

“The great thing with a new building, especially if it is taking down an old building like the small college going away, that wipes out a lot of deferred maintenance right there,” said Goodwin.

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