Board of Regents to ask for $30 million in state funding for deferred maintenance, OKs UI request for facility, property updates

In a virtual meeting on Wednesday, the state Board of Regents approved a plan to request $30 million in state funding for fiscal 2022, and gave the UI the green light for new windows in the English and Philosophy Building and the acceptance and sale of a property gift.


Abby Watkins

The Board of Regents holds a meeting discussing bond sales and loss of revenue due to COVID-19 on Youtube live stream on Thursday, April 30, 2020.

Katie Ann McCarver, Copy Editor

The state Board of Regents voted in a virtual meeting on Wednesday to move forward with a state-funding request of $30 million for deferred maintenance projects in fiscal 2022, which will pay for the reparation and replacement of existing capital assets at each of its institutions that did not receive updates to their facilities at the appropriate time due to a lack of funds.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, of the $368 million requested by regents’ institutions in a capital plan for state funds over the next six years, $100 million is slated to fund deferred maintenance and other campus projects.

Outstanding deferred maintenance in General Education Fund buildings and utilities at regents’ institutions currently total $1.2 billion, and regent documents show that state funding would have a positive effect in the reduction of that number plus the $9 million in outstanding fire-safety projects, the documents state.

Compared to an average capital request of $74 million over the last 21 years, the regents’ request for $30 million in fiscal 2022 is a 59 percent decrease in proposed state funds, the DI previously reported.

Deferred maintenance at the UI increased by 4.5 percent this year, according to regent documents, and currently equals more than $400 million. The UI will prioritize deferred maintenance in the Carver Biomedical Research Building, the Lindquist Center, Eckstein Medical Research Building, Chemistry Building, and the Pappajohn Business Building.

The five buildings require $8 million in funding for deferred maintenance.

“This year we have pushed all projects ahead one year, so that the only requisition for FY 2022, is a $30 million request for deferred maintenance,” said Board of Regents Director of Facilities John Nash in a meeting Sept. 17. “…That’s the only request we have, and we are obviously trying to draw attention to deferred maintenance and we have good reason for doing that.”

English and Philosophy Building to get new windows, UI to forego property gift

Additionally, the regents approved a UI request on Wednesday to replace 270 windows of the English and Philosophy Building to improve its energy efficiency, which will cost an estimated $2.15 million, according to regent documents. 

Also in their meeting Wednesday, the regents approved the UI’s acceptance and sale of a 39-acre property gift of rural land 42 miles southeast of campus. The UI, which received the property in Louisa County from the estate of Wallace M. Fieldman, will sell the land to Oscar Hiller for $168,000, according to regent documents.

Though the UI is appreciative of the gift, UI Finance and Operations Business Manager David Kieft told the regents in a Sept. 17 meeting that it does not fit into the campus’ academic or research mission.

“As the condition of the property stands right now, it’s a significant liability risk to the university and I think transferring this out of the university’s name at this point is a very smart thing to do,” Kieft said.