The three state-supported universities are asking the governor for $75-million for so-called deferred maintenance — basic upkeep of buildings and grounds that’s been put off because of tight budgets. The President of the Board of Regents says the amount they’re requesting is a drop in the bucket compared to the actual need.
Regetns president Craig Lang says it would take half a billion dollars to address all of the deferred maintenance on campus. “This is a number that we’re aware of and if it does not hinder student safety and those kind of things we can put off till the next year but it’s a large number out there that we’re concerned about on our university campuses,” Lang explains.
Lang says the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa may need to create a special fund for maintaining buildings and grounds. “I think its something that all government levels should look at from one year to the next, you need to put away some money to take care of that in the future, but if it does not get in the way of student safety then many times it is put off,” Lang says.
U.N.I. president Ben Allen told the governor and his advisors that his campus has reduced the list of deferred maintenance projects by closing buildings altogether. This year’s request includes sprinkler systems for fire protection that are required by state code.