Budget Update: Big Bucks for College Construction

(Sept. 12) – In another sign of Colorado’s continuing economic rebound, state budget experts estimated today that the state government ended its 2013-14 fiscal year on June 30 with a budget surplus of $235.8 million

The state controller’s office is required to provide an estimate of the previous fiscal year’s budget surplus by Sept. 15 of each year. The $235.8 million estimate, delivered today by legislative staff after consultation with the controller’s office, reflects increasing state revenues that are directly tied to a quickening pace of economic activity.

By law, the surplus will be divided as follows:

· $135.3 million to the Capital Construction Fund
· $34.5 million to the State Education Fund
· $30 million to the Colorado Water Conservation Board Construction Fund
· $25 million to remain in the General Fund
· $10 million to the Hazardous Substance Site Response Fund
· $1 million to the Economic Development Fund

“The biggest winners are our college students,” said Rep. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver), chairwoman of the Joint Budget Committee. “We’ll be able to fund almost all of our priority projects, which are long-overdue construction projects at our public colleges and universities.”

Here’s the list of Capital Construction Fund projects:

· $25.8 million to renovate Quigley Hall at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison
· $21.5 million for controlled maintenance of state properties
· $18.5 million for the Tomlinson Library at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction
· $16 million to modernize the state Office of Information Technology’s payroll tracking system
· $15 million to expand the Chemistry Building at Colorado State University in Fort Collins
· $11.6 million for the Ketchum Arts and Sciences Building at the University of Colorado in Boulder
· $10. 8 million for Berndt Hall at Fort Lewis College in Durango
· $5.8 million for the East Campus renovation at Adams State University in Alamosa
· $5.3 million for the Aviation, Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing Building at Metropolitan State University in Denver
· $5 million for library renovation at the Auraria Campus in Denver

Disbursement of these funds will begin on Monday.

“Our college students will see the benefits, and as a bonus we’ll be creating construction jobs all around the state,” Rep. Duran said.

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