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U of M to host media tour of 2014 capital request projects Tuesday, Oct. 1

Laboratory, classroom and infrastructure needs top list of priorities

September 26, 2013

Media note: Media interested in attending the tour must RSVP to Julie Christensen at and meet on Northrop Plaza, 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Media will need to handle their own parking and transportation between campuses.

What: Media tour of the facilities improvement projects on the U of M’s Twin Cities campus for which the U will request funding from the Minnesota Legislature in 2014
Why: To supply media with background and a close-up view of the U’s capital request projects prior to the Oct. 11 Board of Regents vote and in preparation for the 2014 legislative session
Who: Pam Wheelock, vice president for University Services; Jason Rohloff, special assistant to the president for Government and Community Relations; Marla Spivak, entomology professor and director, U of M Bee Lab; Becca Nash, associate director, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center; select students and other faculty members
When: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 1
Where: The tour begins on Northrop Plaza, 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, and moves to the St. Paul campus at approximately 11 a.m. In Minneapolis, parking is available in the Church Street Garage (80 Church St. SE) or the 4th Street Ramp (1625 4th St. SE). On the St. Paul campus, parking is available at the Bee Lab (2118 Larpenteur Ave.) and at the Gortner Avenue Ramp (1395 Gortner Ave.).

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, officials with the University of Minnesota will host a tour for media to get a close look at four of the six building and infrastructure improvement projects in the U’s 2014 capital request.

The tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., beginning at Northrop Plaza, and will be led by Pam Wheelock, vice president for University Services, and Jason Rohloff, special assistant to the president for Government and Community Relations.

Pending approval at the Oct. 11 Board of Regents meeting, the University will request $232.7 million in state funding during the 2014 legislative session. The proposed capital request includes six projects systemwide that align with the U’s strategic goals: to attract and retain the best and brightest students and world-class faculty and staff; to inspire innovation, exploration and discovery; and to be a responsible steward of its physical and financial resources.

The media tour will stop at the following four sites, where participants will hear from researchers and students:

Minneapolis projects (approximately 10 to 10:50 a.m.)

  • Mechanical Engineering: Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) example – maximize the use and extend the life of facilities systemwide (request for state to fund entirety of $100 million project cost);
  • Tate Laboratory – renovate the historic 87-year-old building to meet the modern teaching needs of core science disciplines, physics and earth sciences (request for state to fund $56.7 million of $85 million total project cost);

St. Paul projects (approximately 11:10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.)

  • Microbial sciences research building – construct a new laboratory building for interdisciplinary research in microbiology-focused fields such as plant pathology, food safety and animal infectious diseases (request for state to fund $30 million of $45 million total project cost);
  • Research laboratory improvement fund – improve existing research facilities systemwide, including the University’s bee laboratory, plant greenhouses and aquatic invasive species laboratory (request for state to fund $12 million of $18 million total project cost).

In addition to the $232.7 million requested from the state of Minnesota, the University will commit $66.3 million to the six proposed projects.

Following the October Board of Regents action, the University will await Gov. Mark Dayton’s capital investment recommendations, expected to be announced by mid-January. The Minnesota Legislature is scheduled to reconvene Feb. 25, 2014.

For more on the University’s 2014 capital request, which includes facilities improvement projects on all five campuses, visit

Twin Cities Campus: