Archive for Tuesday, February 9, 2010

KU uses stimulus funds to put ‘dent’ in deferred maintenance backlog

February 9, 2010


Projects completed

A list of deferred maintenance projects Kansas University has been able to do using more than $7 million in federal stimulus dollars.

  • $273,000, Anschutz Science Library Fire Code Improvements — replace failing electronic fire alarm.
  • $200,000, Carruth O’Leary Hall reroofing.
  • $105,000, Military Science building roofing.
  • $1.15 million, Dyche Hall mechanical and electrical system improvements.
  • $200,000, Jayhawk Boulevard storm sewer replacement.
  • $3.1 million, Murphy Hall mechanical improvements.
  • $874,000, Spencer Museum of Art chiller replacement.
  • $1.1 million, utility tunnel waterproofing.

Armed with an extra $7 million in federal stimulus dollars over the last two years, Kansas University has been able to address more of its ongoing deferred maintenance backlog than usual.

Jim Modig, KU’s director of design and construction management, said his staff has been able to address a number of additional critical needs with the money.

Most of the funds have been spent on needs like upgrading the electrical and mechanical systems in some of KU’s older buildings.

When it comes to some systems that will be upgraded, like in Murphy Hall, the systems are so old, replacement parts are no longer available, forcing KU employees to fabricate a suitable part on their own, Modig said.

“In terms of the university’s maintenance department, I think they’ve done a pretty good job of keeping that system working,” he said.

The stimulus dollars come with a number of qualifications, including a focus on improving energy efficiency, a requirement to buy American and to comply with national labor wage rate regulations.

KU still faces more than $200 million in total deferred maintenance costs for its aging buildings, with millions more being added each year, Modig said.

Modig said he’s thankful for the stimulus dollars, which have been leveraged with other state dollars to create a much larger impact than in previous years.

“It has made a huge dent,” Modig said. “But, that’s just it. It’s just a dent.”


Sunny Parker 8 years, 1 month ago

Well I am glad my grandchildren will be able to pay for the maintenance at ku.

Good ole tax dollar money tree at work! This is theft!

Sunny Parker 8 years, 1 month ago

Same to you Moocher! Before long we'll be paying for everyones health insurance too, like there are not enough handouts as it is!

BlackVelvet 8 years, 1 month ago

they ALWAYS seem to find money to put up another building, but never have any funds to keep it maintained. Odd.............................

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 1 month ago

federal stimulus dollars = our money removed against our will

steveguy 8 years, 1 month ago

KU needs to start doing there part in the upkeep of their buildings instead of having someone else pay for it. Heaven knows they have the money.

justsaying 8 years, 1 month ago

Federal dollars at work in our community, creating work for our folks, using products from the good ole USA and helping maintain buildings that teach the next generation the lessons they will need to deal with our country's problems and to become innovative....... are you sure you think this is a waste?

Centerville 8 years, 1 month ago

Would it be too much to ask the legislature that, in the future, when an agengy submits a budget which includes maintenance, maybe they'll be asked to prove that they used it to keep their facility up to speed, rather than spring these bogus surprises on us every five years?

KSManimal 8 years, 1 month ago

sunny (Anonymous) says…

"Well I am glad my grandchildren will be able to pay for the maintenance at ku."

Yes, they will. And because of it, they'll have architects to design their homes and businesses; engineers to design their infrastructure; doctors to keep them healthy and help when they're not; teachers to open opportunities for them; computer hardware/software engineers; business executives/entrepreneurs to keep their economy strong;.......and the list goes on.

Or, we could let our educational system crumble; and future generations will the become greatest minds of the 14th century.

Shardwurm 8 years, 1 month ago

The Education Industry in America is as corrupt as the railroads of the 1800s. They charge $750 for a class (Not including books or materials), put 30 to 500 students in it, then pay a grad student $5,000 to teach it while the professor 'researches'.

It's a welfare program for the educated. They're functionally useless outside the classroom yet demand six-figure salaries. The universities could cut so many meaningless jobs that they could save millions every year...but they don't. As the cost of maintaining this excess labor pool grows, so does the tuition to pay for it.

As the tuition goes up the middle class buckles because the poor don't pay and the rich don't care.

Even His Highness Obama said in his SOU address that universities needed to start doing their share to hold down costs. No kidding.

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