NMU ranked second in capital outlay scoring

The+complex+is+located+on+NMU%E2%80%99s+North+Campus+and+spans+nearly+five+acres.+It+is+home+to+the+department+of+Technology+and+Occupational+Sciences.+It+features+more+than+40+specialized+laboratories+and+classrooms.+Photo+by%3A+Emma+Case

The complex is located on NMU’s North Campus and spans nearly five acres. It is home to the department of Technology and Occupational Sciences. It features more than 40 specialized laboratories and classrooms. Photo by: Emma Case

Trevor Drew

Out of 15 different university projects, NMU’s capital outlay request for a $26.5 million renovation of the Jacobetti Complex is ranked second by the state of Michigan, putting them in “good shape” to receive funding for the project, Vice President for Finance and Administration Gavin Leach said.

The state of Michigan every so often allocates money to public universities to fund capital outlay projects meant to enhance educational facilities, Leach said. These projects are scored and ranked by the state and the top scoring projects are most likely to be partially funded he said, adding that New Jamrich hall is an example of a past project funded by capital outlay.

“From the aging of the [Jacobetti] and the infrastructure, it’s a necessary project,” Leach said. “It’s basically a 40-year-old facility, so it would be great to be able to enhance all of the systems inside of the facility.”

Leach said the new renovations would not only enhance the learning systems in the facility, but also improve the building’s energy efficiency. He explained the rooms would be designed to be adjustable, similar to New Jamrich, and that core areas, such as the welding program, will be modernized.

Although Northern’s ranking is promising, Leach said it is not a guarantee and added that capital outlay funding was not proposed in this year’s executive budget. However, it could still be added in the house or the senate, he said.

NMU President Fritz Erickson said he was grateful that North- ern was able to achieve second out of 15 universities who usually submit their best projects.

“The question remains though whether there will be any capital outlay money in this year’s budget,” Erickson said over the phone en route to Lansing to encourage the addition of capital outlay to the state budget. “The state has the opportunity and responsibility to help us have the
kind of facilities we need to be able to provide the great education that we do.”

Erickson said if Northern were able to get funding for this renovation, it would keep NMU on the path of providing a “world class education.”