University of Delaware President David P. Roselle presented UD’s operating and capital budget request to members of the governor’s executive staff on Wednesday, Nov. 17, in Dover.
The requests included $12.5 million to fund major renovation projects and for the completion of the new Elbert N. Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown.
Operating budget requests
Among the top operating budget requests Roselle presented was $497,000 to fund scholarships to help qualified Delaware residents get a UD education.
“Our top priority, as it has been in every year of my presidency, continues to be increasing scholarship funds,” Roselle said. “The underlying philosophy for the scholarship special lines is to support a financial aid program under which no Delaware resident who qualifies to receive a UD education would be denied admission because of inability to pay.”
Additional operating budget requests include:
Capital budget requests
Heading the list of capital budget requests, Roselle said, is $2 million for the final reimbursement of costs for the renewal and renovation of Wolf Hall.
The Wolf Hall project included the construction of a 10,000-square-foot in-fill to meet the needs of the departments of Psychology and Biological Sciences.
While the project is complete, Roselle said that this was accomplished by bridge funding provided by UD in place of promised state appropriations that have been delayed because of the state’s economic downturn during the early part of the decade.
“The bridge funding utilized resources that UD has earmarked for other vital capital projects, and as a result, planning and construction associated with those projects has been delayed,” Roselle said. “The requested reimbursement from the state for Wolf Hall will enable us to begin to move forward on a number of those projects.”
UD also is seeking $6 million toward the 72,000-square-foot renovation of the north and west wings of Brown Laboratory, located on The Green on UD’s Newark Campus, Roselle said.
The building, named in memory of H. Fletcher Brown, UD benefactor and member the Board of Trustees from 1929-44, was constructed in 1937 and houses the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
The south wing of Brown Laboratory was renovated in 1995-96.
"The west and north wings were built in 1936-37 and 1960-61, respectively, and now require renovation similar to the south wing and are in the UD renovation plan for 2005," Roselle said. "We estimate the total cost for renovating Brown Laboratory will be about $22 million, to be shared between UD and the state."
Among the priority items of UD’s capital budget requests is $2 million toward construction of the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the research center was held on Oct. 29, and construction is scheduled to begin in 2005. The new 24,000-square-foot center, which will be located next to Lasher Laboratory, replaces a 65-year-old facility, which currently houses a variety of academic and community programs.
The Carvel Research and Education Center will feature meeting rooms, an interactive television system and offices for Sussex County Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners, 4-H and an expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, as well as a place for graduate students and research associates.
“The facility will provide the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources with an opportunity to add new programs and enhancements not possible prior to its construction,” Roselle said. “These features will offer the citizens of southern Delaware the opportunity to gather and learn in a first-rate University facility.”
In addition to the Carvel family’s support and a $2 million-allocation this year from state legislators, UD is seeking an additional $2 million from the state for the completion of the $7.6 million state-of-the-art facility, located on Rt. 9 just north of Georgetown.
Roselle reminded the governor’s staff that, during the avian flu (H7 influenza) outbreak last winter, UD scientists at the center were instrumental in testing chickens from more than 2,300 farms within days after it was discovered that a flock owned by an independent Harrington-area producer was infected with the H7 influenza. The majority of these tests were done at Lasher Lab under the leadership of Mariano Salem, director of UD’s Poultry Diagnostic Center, and the round-the-clock testing of commercial flocks and disposal of infected birds by the center helped avert a crisis that had the potential to economically devastate Delmarva’s $1.5 billion-broiler industry.
Capital budget requests also include $1.5 million for renewal and renovation of academic buildings.
UD campus buildings total some 7.3 million gross square feet, including 3.2 million square feet of academic facilities, many of which were constructed before 1960, Roselle said.
“This means many of these facilities are nearing 50 years of age,” Roselle said. “The funding requests will be matched at least dollar-for-dollar by UD resources and will assist us in keeping our academic plant up-to-date and in good repair.”
Also requested was $1 million for minor capital improvements for target initiatives including the colleges of Marine Studies, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Arts and Sciences, Health and Nursing Sciences and Engineering.
Roselle said that the requested funding will help UD build on its partnership with the state to advance knowledge in these disciplines and in specific areas of productive research, including genetic medicine, biophysics and bioengineering, cell biology, genetic engineering and biomechanics.
“With prior assistance from the state, UD has made significant investments in equipment and facilities needed to further this research,” Roselle said. “Continued support will play an important role in improving equipment and facilities in order to attract faculty and to support instruction and research.”
Before turning to operating budget requests, Roselle noted several areas in which UD has recently received national recognition, including:
Roselle also noted the success of The Campaign for Delaware, which has now raised more than $400 million, and has been extended for an additional year to help raise additional funds toward the completion of the Center for the Arts.
Other highlights noted by Roselle include the recent opening of the new Courtyard Newark on the Laird Campus that will serve as home of the Marriott Center for Hospitality and Tourism, funded in part by a grant from the Marriott Foundation.
The success of the 2003 Fightin Blue Hens football team, currently reigning as National I-AA Champions, also had a significant economic benefit for Delaware’s economy, Roselle said.
“These highlights of recent successes underscore our commitment to excellence in everything we do,” Roselle said. “They also reinforce UD as a solid investment for state resources.”
Contact: Jerry Rhodes, (302) 831-4891