The following statement was issued today by University of California President Richard C. Atkinson regarding the placement of a statewide education bond measure on the Nov. 3 ballot by Gov. Pete Wilson and the Legislature. The $9.2 billion bond measure includes $2.5 billion for higher education facilities over a four-year period.
Richard C. Atkinson
President, University of California
"This bond measure is crucial to the University of California's efforts to correct seismic deficiencies, repair and modernize aging buildings, and construct new facilities to accommodate rapidly growing enrollments. Our needs are urgent, and this measure is an absolutely vital means of addressing them.
"We are grateful to the governor and Legislature for approving this measure. The bond proposal addresses UC's critical facilities needs and would help ensure that the next generation of Californians has access to a University of California education."
UC's long-term facilities needs are estimated to total more than $400 million annually. This new bond measure would provide UC with approximately $210 million per year in capital outlay funds for four years. The university will supplement these bond resources by raising private funds and by using UC's operating budget to help finance deferred maintenance projects.
The bond measure will fund capital improvements at all UC
campuses. The projects focus on:
Seismic and life safety -- The bond will help UC address seismic
deficiencies in a significant number of university buildings. In 1998-99, for example,
bond proceeds will fund earthquake-safety improvements for classroom, laboratory and
office buildings on five UC campuses.
Expansion for enrollment growth -- New facilities are needed to accommodate a surge of 45,000 additional UC students by 2010. Several of the projects to be funded by the bond measure will house programs in engineering and the sciences, fields which UC has targeted for enrollment growth in order to address state workforce needs. UC also anticipates that $55 million in bond funds will be available for initial development of UC Merced, where the university plans to enroll 5,000 students by 2010. Additional state funding will be required prior to the opening of the new campus.
Modernization -- Research and instructional facilities require technological upgrading as academic programs evolve, particularly in the sciences. Aging infrastructure, such as water and utility systems, also require attention on many UC campuses. Modernization projects funded by the bond measure will help keep UC on the cutting edge of discovery -- reaping economic benefits for the state.
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