BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland, College Park, will receive $36 million to modernize the Stamp Student Union – if the Board of Regents approves a recommendation from its Finance Committee to sell $42 million in bonds for this and other projects.
The bonds would also cover $800,000 in construction costs at Frostburg State University for a new track in Bobcat Stadium and a new athletic field for the women’s soccer and softball teams.
“We have not been able to run track meets here because of the dangerous conditions of our old track,” said Roger Bruszewski, vice president for administration and finance at Frostburg State University. “With the money, we can improve our facilities, do better recruiting and finally have track meets at home.”
UMCP and Frostburg are among five schools in the University System of Maryland slated to get construction or renovation money from the bond sale, if the Board of Regents approves the committee recommendation at its Oct. 2 meeting.
Bob Page, the University System comptroller, said the board is likely to adopt the recommendation.
UMCP plans to spend $36 million upgrading its student union by re-designing the book center, adding space for new stores and creating more room for human traffic, said Charles Sturtz, vice president for administrative affairs. “The Stamp Student Union will look more like a mall, which will appeal to our students in the 21st century.”
The university also plans to spend $1.6 million revamping agricultural science labs in H.J. Patterson Hall and replacing old equipment, Sturtz said. “These building systems have worn out,” he said.
In addition to the projects at UMCP and Frostburg, the bonds will also pay for:
* expanding the University Union and planning for the York Road garage at Towson University, at a cost of $2.1 million;
* planning a new residence hall at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, at a cost of $505,440; and
* constructing University Commons at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, at a cost of $1 million.
All of the projects have been approved by the General Assembly, said Edwin S. Crawford, Finance Committee chairman. The sale of bonds is the usual manner in which to pay for new buildings and improvements within the University System.
Crawford said the projects are self-supporting; revenue from such items as ticket sales, student activity fees and parking permits will pay for them – not tuition increases.
“The [bond] money is long overdue,” Bruszewski said.
If approved, the bonds will cost the system about $2.6 million a year and will be in compliance with its self-imposed debt cap, Page said. The system requires that no more than 5.5 percent of its annual operating budget go toward paying off debt. The new bonds would boost the system’s debt service payment to $57.6 million a year, or 4 percent of the operating budget, Page said. -30-