BOG approves bond financing for four SRU projects


spotts building construction

Renovations at the Spotts World Culture Building is one of four projects that received bond financing approval from the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education.

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Board of Governors of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education has approved bond financing for a quartet of projects at Slippery Rock University, including work at Spotts World Culture Building, Strain Behavioral Science Building, Bailey Library and informational technology network infrastructure equipment upgrades.

amir mohammadi


The estimated cost of the combined projects totals $19.6 million, said Amir Mohammadi, SRU's vice president of finance, administrative affairs and advancement services. The debt service will be paid using various sources of existing University operating funds including Key '93, academic enhancement fees and the technology tuition fee.

According to Mohammadi, the impact to the University's debt ratio will be minimal since other debt will be retired. This will offset most of the cost of the new borrowing.

"I am proud to say that with the acquisition of these new bonds, and the retirement of previous bonds, SRU has one of the lowest debt ratios when compared to many other institutions of higher education," said Mohammadi.

Construction is already underway at Spotts and includes renovating approximately 22,000 square feet on the second and third floors; repair of the south wall; replacement of windows; upgrading of restrooms for full ADA compliance; renovating an additional 3,200 square feet of classroom space on the first floor; and fully renovating the Global Engagement offices.

Renovations at Strain, constructed in 1938, will address a backlog of deferred maintenance issues; reconfiguring of specialized laboratory spaces; and the addition of 2,000 square feet in order to meet the space requirements of the building's academic programs.

The Bailey Library portion of the project will update student study spaces; provide for upgrades to the building's HVAC system; replace windows; renovate restrooms; and make other modifications to improve egress and efficiency of the space.

"Like other libraries, Bailey Library has evolved to be a meeting space and study space for our students," Mohammadi said. "Students use the library for individual study, group meetings, research activities and many other things. It has become a central hub of activity and with that in mind, it is essential for the efficient performance of library tasks, that faculty, staff and students have functional, well-designed workspaces."

Planning for Strain and Bailey Library are ongoing with construction to start within the next six months.

On the IT front, Mohammadi noted that a variety of networking equipment is nearing the end of its manufacturers support life and is targeted for replacement in July.

"Use of this equipment is critical in regards to teaching classes and administrative functions of the University," he said. "As such, we must continue to replace this equipment prior to it reaching the end of its support life so that continuity is not interrupted."

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