DES MOINES — Despite Gov. Kim Reynold’s suggesting lawmakers turn down new capital improvement requests from state universities, representatives from the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa on Wednesday requested more than $200 million for campus projects.
Reynolds has called for about $32 million in budget cuts and adjustments because of a revenue shortfall. A Senate plan would raise that to $52 million.
However, the House and Senate chairmen of the Transportation, Infrastructure and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee held out hope they could find at least seed money for the projects on the three university campuses and Iowa School for the Deaf.
“We heard about some awesome projects that bring value for those campuses, the students and the communities — I get it,” Sen. Craig Johnson, R-Independence, said.
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However, the reality of the budget will limit what the subcommittee can do, Rep. Dan Huseman, R-Aurelia, said.
UNI asked for $36.2 million over three years for expansion and modernization of its Industrial Technology Center built in 1974.
With all the changes in technology, “there’s just not enough space to do what’s needed,” Mike Zwanziger, director of facilities management, told the subcommittee.
UNI has nearly 500 students in construction management, manufacturing technology, technology management and engineering education classes taught in the building. Ninety percent of the graduates take jobs in Iowa, said John Fritch, dean of UNI’s College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences.