March 24, 2008
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Auraria Campus holds news conference after funding for science building cut to $0
A news conference and media tour was held at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 24, to view the construction site of the Science Building on the Auraria Campus, which broke ground in December 2007 after receiving its first phase of state funding last year.
Participants included Metropolitan State College of Denver President Stephen Jordan, Auraria Campus Executive Vice President Dean Wolf, Community College System President Nancy McCallin, University of Colorado System President Bruce Benson and Downtown Denver Partnership Executive Director Tami Door.
The state received an updated revenue forecast on March 22, which reduced the amount available for capital construction projects in the state fiscal year that begins July 1, 2008. The request of $37.5 million for the Auraria Science Building--already reduced from the original $50 million recommendation--was cut to $0. Other projects, including higher education, human services and corrections projects, were taken out of priority order.
The current science building presents health and safety hazards because of overcrowding and outdated HVAC systems. Two labs have had to be closed due to dangerous levels of chemical fumes and inadequate ventilation.
Auraria already has begun construction of the science building, based on an appropriation from the state last year. If state funding doesn’t come through this year, the project is placed in serious jeopardy and will -- at a minimum -- result in very costly delays.
The Science Building supports the training of future science and technology workers. With students from all three institutions, the building’s expansion and renovation will facilitate the education of more future scientists of color than any other location in the state, Metro State officials said, adding that it will also support the state’s economic development.
Alumni Association supports funding; call for action
The Metro State Alumni Association’s alumni action task force this morning began calling other graduates to inform them of the funding crisis and ask that they call their state legislators.
“The Science Building is critical to providing a quality education for Metro State students,” said Association President Eric Petersen. “Many alumni can attest to the challenging environment of the current science space, and we will assist the College to stress the need for the building’s renovation and expansion to the Legislature.”
For more information about the Alumni Action Task Force go to http://www.mscdtaskforce.org/.