Legislative Update No. 9
REBUILDING, RENEWING AND ENHANCING
THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
The NINTH in a series of reports to Governor John G. Rowland and the Connecticut General Assembly
Table of Contents
I. UCONN 2000: THE UPDATE
II. ACTIVITIES COMPLETED OR UNDERWAY:
This is the ninth in a series of semi-annual reports to the Governor and the General Assembly pursuant to the provisions of Sections 10a-109 through 10a-109y of the Connecticut General Statutes, originally An Act to Enhance the Infrastructure of the University of Connecticut, and now known as UCONN 2000. These reports have been issued each October and April since the passage of UCONN 2000 on June 7, 1995. The law also required a four year progress report, which was filed on January 15, 1999. The eighth report contained fully up-to-date project status charts; for prose project updates the reader is directed to UCONN 2000: Four Year Progress Report, Chapter III. The standard reporting structure utilized in reports one through seven resumes with this report, the ninth in the series.
The true promise of UCONN 2000 continues to be fulfilled. With this unprecedented support from the citizens of Connecticut, the University has:
* attracted talented students as never before. During the past two years, freshman enrollment at Storrs has increased more than 34%; average SAT scores are up 24 points; and freshman minority enrollment has climbed more than 39%. This year, 26 Connecticut valedictorians are part of UConn’s freshman class.
* become a magnet for private fundraising and investment, tripling annual gift receipts and endowment assets to support scholarships and academic excellence.
* implemented a Master Plan to transform our physical infrastructure with this landmark building program, creating a beautiful pedestrian-friendly campus that is worthy of its magnificent Storrs setting and ready for the 21st century.
* enhanced facilities and programs at our School of Law, Health Center and regional campuses.
UCONN 2000: ACTIVITIES COMPLETED OR UNDERWAY
|* The Board of Trustees at its June 14, 1999 meeting approved the following list of year five (FY99-00) projects:|
|Alumni Quad Renovations (2)||$ 2,500,000|
|Avery Point Marine Science Research Center||7,341,000|
|Defer Maintenance Renovation Lumpsum||21,000,000|
|Horticultural Storage Renovation (3)||800,000|
|Monteith Renovations (2)||733,000|
|North Campus Renovations (3)||2,000,000|
|Northwest Quad Renovations (1)||30,000,000|
|New School of Business||2,000,000|
|School of Business Renovations (2)||1,500,000|
|Student Union Addition (2)||2,500,000|
|Tech Quad Phase I||2,090,000|
|Tech Quad Phase II||3,000,000|
|Underground Steam/Water Upgrade (3)||6,000,000|
|Waring Building Convert to Classroom (1)||10,536,000|
|Wilbur Cross Renovations (1)||11,000,000|
(1) Commence Construction
(3) Design and Construction
|* The Board of Trustees at its June 14, 1999 meeting approved the following revised budgets for Phase 2 projects:|
|Alumni Quad Renovations||$ 13,674,000|
|Avery Point Marine Sciences Research Center||7,341,000|
|Avery Point Undergraduate Building Renovations||5,323,000|
|Beach hall Renovations||8,326,000|
|Deferred Maintenance & Renovation Lumpsum||105,868,000|
|East Campus Renovations||6,230,000|
|Equipment, Library Collections & Telecomm.||135,961,000|
|Grad Dorm Renovations||7,000,000|
|Hilltop Dorm Renovations||1,805,000|
|Convert Horticulture to Museum of Natural History||800,000|
|Manchester & DRM Renovations||2,325,000|
|Mansfield Training School Improvements||7,270,000|
|North Campus Renovations||22,605,000|
|Northwest Quad Renovations||30,000,000|
|School of Business||2,000,000|
|School of Business Renovations||15,000,000|
|School of Pharmacy||36,353,000|
|Student Union Addition||35,000,000|
|Technology Quadrant – Phase IA||2,090,000|
|Technology Quadrant – Phase II||50,120,000|
|Torrey Life Sciences Renovations||16,181,000|
|Towers Interior Renovations||9,026,000|
|Underground Steam & Water Upgrade||6,000,000|
|Waring Building Conversion||10,536,000|
|West Campus Renovations||14,166,000|
|Wilbur Cross Building Renovations||11,000,000|
* Schematic design has begun for the Student Union project. This project, which will include major renovations and an addition to the current facility, has a primary goal of expanding the range and quality of activities available to students in the campus core. Included in the project will be a food court, 500 seat theatre, meeting space and a central post office for all student mail. This facility will enable all of the campus’ cultural centers to be housed in one location. Implementation of the project will be phased over several years. The architects for the project are Cannon Associates of Boston, Massachusetts.
* Construction documents are being finished for the Waring Building renovations. Plans for the building would include housing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offices, the English Department, and the Geography Department. Also included in the project is the creation of additional classrooms. The process of pre-qualifying contractors to bid on the project has started and bidding will begin in November 1999. The architect for the project is Herbert Newman and Partners of New Haven, Connecticut.
* Design development drawings have been completed for the Wilbur Cross project, a complete renovation of the Wilbur Cross library building. The project will provide an opportunity to locate all of the business functions relating to student services in one central customer-friendly location. These functions include dining services, residential life, financial aid, bursar, registrar, and services to students with disabilities. The process of pre-qualifying contractors to bid on the project has begun with bidding scheduled for January 2000. The architects for the project are Arbonies King & Vlock, of Stony Creek, Connecticut.
* Construction documents are being finalized for the University’s new Visitors Program. This program, funded through a generous gift from alumni Philip and Christine Lodewick, includes a center for visitor tours and information about the University and University events. Construction is anticipated to begin in November 1999 with completion in June 2000. The architectural firm for the project is Flad & Associates of Stamford, Connecticut. The Construction Manager for the project is BB&E of Bloomfield, Connecticut.
* Program development activities have begun for renovations at the School of Law. This project will provide for the phased renovations of several buildings including the old Library Building. The architect for this project is Allan Dehar Associates of New Haven, Connecticut.
* Architectural selection has begun for renovations to the current School of Business building. The purpose of this project is to create a facility for the Center for Undergraduate Education (CUE). The CUE will provide academic support for students as well as instructional support for faculty members and graduate students. Functions included in the facility will be First Year Experience (special seminars and activities for incoming freshmen), Career Services, the Institute for Teaching & Learning, Study Abroad, Urban Semester, the Center for Community Outreach, Instructional Research Center, Honors Program, and the Learning Research Center.
* As part of the overall building and renovation program, the University of Connecticut continues the process of standardizing building systems and system components (such as electrical circuitry, panel boxes, etc.). This standardization process will reduce the number of replacement parts the University needs to inventory, speed repairs, improve the level of maintenance and lower overall costs.
* An exterior signage program has been developed for all campus locations, including the Health Center. The purpose of the program is to implement signage that will provide a unified look and better directional information to visitors to the campuses. Installation of the new signage will begin in December 1999.
* The Facilities Management Home Page on the World Wide Web continues to be very successful in providing information to interested parties. The site has been visited over 13,454 times since its introduction in October 1996. It provides an e-mail alert list for those firms with Internet access in order to inform them of project opportunities at the University as part of UConn’s efforts to provide wider distribution of professional service solicitations.
* Architectural selection has begun for renovations to the Arjona and Monteith buildings. This project will include renovations to the exterior and the interior of these heavily-used classroom buildings, including the addition of central air conditioning. The exterior renovations will add pitched roofs as dictated by the architectural standards of the University’s Master Plan.
* Design development drawings are being prepared for the new School of Pharmacy building. The project involves the construction of a 120,000 square foot building for teaching and research. The architects for the project are Davis, Brody Bond of New York City.
* Bids were received for the Gant Plaza Deck repair project. The bids were over the budget and redesign has begun. It is anticipated that construction will begin in the spring of 2000.
* Design is underway for the installation of sprinklers at the North Campus Dormitory. It is anticipated that construction will begin in January 2000.
* A developer has been selected for the construction and management of a hotel on the Storrs campus. The facility will be built next to the South Campus Commons building to take advantage of its conferencing and catering capacity in conjunction with the hotel. The partnership for the project is Robert Freidman (hotel developer and owner of the Norwich Navigators) along with the Maristar Group, which manages hotels worldwide including many university hotel facilities such as the Princeton Forestal.
* A design-build team has been selected for the Central Warehouse project. The project team is Konover Construction of West Hartford and Kagan Architects of New Haven, Connecticut. This 85,000 square foot facility will include mail services, parking and transportation services, and the University’s purchasing, central warehouse and accounts payable functions. The facility is to be located in the R-Lot as part of the University’s plan to move support services to the perimeter of campus. It is anticipated construction will begin in November 1999.
* A developer has been selected to construct and manage apartment style housing on the Storrs campus. The project would be built in two phases of 400 to 500 beds each. The location for the project is on Alumni Drive, south of the Hilltop Dorms. The developer has responsibility for obtaining project financing and then building the facilities on the land leased from the University. The facilities will be rented to University students; tenants will be subject to the University’s code of conduct. The developer of the project is Capstone Development of Mobile, Alabama, an organization which has successfully built similar projects in a number of other states. The environmental assessment is now being prepared.
* Construction activity is continuing on the Avery Point Marine Science project. This project includes a new 116,000 square foot research building, a 30,000 square foot Project Oceanology building, and a new central chilled water plant. This project will be completed in August 2000. The contractor on the project is C.R. Klewin of Norwich, Connecticut.
* Construction is complete for the Music and Drama/Music additions and renovations project. The project includes renovations to the Drama/Music building and construction of a new Orchestra and Music Library Buildings. Classes were held in the building beginning in the fall of 1999. The general contractor for this project is O&G Industries of Torrington, Connecticut.
* The White Building code improvements project was finished in May 1999. This project included construction of a new Dairy Bar and renovations to the ice cream production facilities. Contractor for the project was Carlin Construction of Waterford, Connecticut.
* Construction continues on the Agricultural Biotechnology building project. The 46,000 square foot facility will include research labs for Transgenic Animal, Plant Biotechnology, and Transgenic Plant activities. Funding for the project includes UCONN 2000 and federal funds. The contractor for the project is HRH/Atlas of Stamford, Connecticut. Completion of the project is scheduled for December 1999.
* Bids were received in March 1999 for the Litchfield Agricultural Center project. As the bids were over the budget available for the project, the University entered into a negotiation process with the low bidder. The process was successful and a contract has been awarded to Hayes Construction of Shelton, Connecticut. Funding for the project is a combination of UCONN 2000 funds and a grant from the Litchfield Agricultural Center. It is anticipated that construction will be completed in the summer 2000.
* Construction activity continues on the Biological Sciences project. The contractor is HRH/Atlas of Stamford, Connecticut. The building is a seven-story 145,000 square foot facility designed for biology and physics research. The exterior of the building will be brick veneer; a glass greenhouse will occupy the roof. The project is currently scheduled for completion in April 2000.
* A construction manager has been selected for the renovation of the Northwest Quad. The firm chosen is Whiting-Turner of Baltimore, Maryland. The project includes a new central dining facility for the complex, which will eliminate the small kitchens that currently exist in each of the seven buildings. This change will significantly reduce operating costs for dining services while freeing up additional program support space in each building. The dorm rooms will be renovated and brought up to building code. The project is scheduled for completion in August 2000.
* Construction will be complete for the University Program building in October 1999. Construction Manager on the project is BB&E of Bloomfield, Connecticut. This project is being built on land leased by the University to the University of Connecticut Foundation to house the Foundation’s private fundraising activities. Funding for the project has been provided by the Foundation.
* Classroom renovations continue, with projects being completed in the summer 1999 at the Avery Point, West Hartford, and Waterbury campuses.
* Bids were received in May 1999 for the new School of Business building. The bids received were over the budget available for the project. Negotiations began with the low bidders, resulting in a construction contract being awarded to FIP Construction of Cheshire, Connecticut. The project’s funding will be augmented with $4.5 million to be raised from private donations. It is anticipated the project will be completed in April 2001.
Phase I Debt Service Commitment Bond Issues Completed
Section 10a-109 of the Connecticut General Statutes empowers the University to issue General Obligation Bonds secured by the State’s Debt Service Commitment (sometimes referred to as “Debt Service Commitment Bonds”).
The Debt Service Commitment Bonds are issued pursuant to the General Obligation Master Indenture of Trust, dated as of November 1, 1995, between the University of Connecticut, as Issuer, and, Fleet National Bank of Connecticut, as Trustee (now State Street Bank & Trust). The Master Indenture of Trust was approved by the University’s Board of Trustees on November 10, 1995, and the State Bond Commission on December 21, 1995. The University’s Board of Trustees and the Office of the Governor approve the subsequent Supplemental Indentures for each bond issue. The University and the Office of the State Treasurer manage the Debt Service Commitment Bond sale process.
On February 21, 1996, the University, in conjunction with the Office of the State Treasurer, issued $83,929,714.85 of “The University of Connecticut General Obligation Bonds 1996 Series A”, the first series of bonds secured by the State’s Debt Service Commitment.
On April 24, 1997, “The University of Connecticut General Obligation Bonds 1997 Series A,” the second series of bonds secured by the State’s Debt Service Commitment, was issued in the amount of $124,392,431.65.
On June 24, 1998, the third series of bonds, “The University of Connecticut General Obligation Bonds 1998 Series A,” was issued in the amount of $99,520,000.00.
On April 8, 1999, the Phase I Debt Service Commitment Bond financings were completed with the issuance of $79,735,000.00 of “The University of Connecticut General Obligation Bonds 1999 Series A”. The four series of Phase I bonds totaled $387,577,146.50 in face value of which $382,000,000 was for UCONN 2000 projects. The balance, together with accrued interest, funded the cost of issuance through the Office of the Treasurer.
Projects funded at the time of issuance of the Debt Service Commitment 1999-A Bond Issue include the Agricultural Biotechnology Facility; the Benton State Art Museum Addition; the Deferred Maintenance & Renovation Lump Sum-Phase I; the Equipment, Library Collections & Telecommunications-Phase I; the Gant Plaza Deck; the Heating Plant Upgrade; the Litchfield Agricultural Center-Phase I; the North Superblock Site & Utilities; the Pedestrian Walkways (a.k.a. Fairfield Road Pedestrian Mall); the School of Business; the School of Pharmacy; the Stamford Downtown Relocation-Phase I; the Technology Quadrant-Phase IA; the Underground Steam & Water Upgrade-Phase I; and the Wilbur Cross Building Renovation.
As of September 1999, the UCONN 2000 Debt Service Commitment bonds were rated “AA” by Standard & Poor’s; “A-1” by Moody’s Investors Service; and “AA-” by Fitch Investors Service. Additionally, certain maturities of the bonds were insured with “AAA” rated municipal bond insurance at issuance.
Trustee-Held Construction Fund
Prior to June 1998, all of the Debt Service Commitment Bond proceeds were deposited with the Office of the State Treasurer, and treated similar to State bond proceeds. Subsequently, the Office of the Attorney General determined that the UCONN 2000 bonds are issued by the University and not by the State. Accordingly, upon the advice of bond counsel and in order to conform to the Master Indenture of Trust, the Debt Service Commitment Bond construction fund proceeds were deposited to the Trustee Bank. The bond proceeds for cost of issuance are still deposited with, and disbursed by, the Office of the State Treasurer.
The University has directed the Trustee Bank to invest the Debt Service Commitment construction fund proceeds in the State Treasurer’s Short Term Investment Fund, which is “AAA” rated and offers daily liquidity and historically attractive risk-adjusted yields.
The Indenture of Trust provides that the University is authorized and directed to order each disbursement from the Construction Account held by the Trustee upon a certification filed with the Treasurer and the Trustee. The Indenture provides that such certification shall be signed by an Authorized Officer of the University, and that it provide certain disbursement information. Once the Authorized Officer certification filings are made, the University can directly disburse the payments.
University Special Obligation Revenue Bonds Secured by Pledged Revenues
UCONN 2000, as codified in Connecticut General Statutes Section 10a-109 through 10a-109y, also authorizes the University to issue Special Obligation Revenue Bonds. Unlike the Debt Service Commitment Bonds, which are paid for out of the State’s General Fund, the Special Obligation Bonds are paid for out of certain, pledged revenues of the University as defined in the particular bond series indenture.
Additionally, a Special Capital Reserve Fund may be established for University Special Obligation bond issues only if the Board of Trustees of the University determines that the Special Obligation bond issue is self-sufficient as defined in the act. The self-sufficiency finding by the University must be submitted to and confirmed as not unreasonable or arbitrary by the Treasurer of the State, prior to issuance of the bonds. Once approved, the Special Capital Reserve Fund is funded at issuance by the University to meet the minimum capital reserve requirement. However, subject to notification by the University on or before December first annually, if this amount falls below the required minimum capital reserve, there is deemed to be appropriated from the state General Fund the sums necessary to restore each such Special Capital Reserve Fund to the required minimum capital reserve.
The Student Fee Revenue Bonds were issued pursuant to the Special Obligation Indenture of Trust, dated as of January 1, 1997, between the University of Connecticut, as Issuer, and, State Street Bank & Trust, as Trustee. The Special Obligation Indenture of Trust and the Student Fee Revenue Bonds Supplemental Indenture was approved by the University’s Board of Trustees on November 8, 1996. The Supplemental Indenture authorized the issuance of bonds up to a principal amount not exceeding $30,000,000 for construction of the South Campus Residence and Dining Hall, plus the amounts necessary to fund a Special Capital Reserve Fund (“SCRF”), and to provide for costs of issuance.
On February 4, 1998, the University issued $33,560,000.00 of the University of Connecticut Student Fee Revenue Bonds 1998 Series A. The bonds have a final maturity of November 15, 2027. The University managed the issuance and sale of the UCONN 2000 Student Fee Revenue Bonds 1998 Series A, and realized a favorable true interest cost over the twenty-nine year term. Debt service for the Student Fee Revenue Bond 1998 Series A’s debt service is paid from Infrastructure Maintenance Fee revenues. This fee is paid by students, and was instituted in 1997 to provide for such debt service, and to help support future operation and maintenance costs for facilities built or expanded by virtue of UCONN 2000.
The University has invested the bond proceeds in the State reasurer’s Short Term Investment Fund, and, in regards to the Special Capital Reserve Fund, in “AAA” rated fixed income Investment Obligations as defined in the Special Obligation Indenture of Trust.
The State SCRF enhancement allowed the bonds to obtain a “AA-“rating from Standard & Poor’s with a positive outlook, a “AA-” rating from Fitch Investors Service, and a “A-1” rating from Moody’s Investors Service. The bonds were subsequently covered by municipal bond insurance and upgraded to a “AAA” rating category at Fitch and Standard Poor’s and “Aaa” at Moody’s Investors Service. During October 1998, Standard & Poor’s upgraded the SCRF bond ratings to “AA” with a stable outlook.
Future Bond Issues
Phase II projects totaling $580,000,000 remain to be financed with future series of Debt Service Commitment Bonds. Of this amount $130,000,000 has been authorized for possible bond issuance by the University’s Board of Trustees and the Office of the Governor.
Based on projected spending, the University currently anticipates offering a new Debt Service Commitment Bond issue, for all or part of the $130,000,000 authorization, sometime during the winter of Fiscal Year 2000. Generally, the University plans on issuing a series of Debt Service Commitment bonds at least every twelve months.
Additionally, at some future point, the University could issue Special Obligation Revenue Bonds for certain projects with the capacity for financial self-sufficiency. In this regard, two such projects that may warrant further consideration are a second parking garage and a student housing facility project.
- To date, the $20 million in 1:1 match of state funds to private gifts as provided by the original UCONN 2000 legislation is in-hand. During the first year of the program, $9.1 million in match-eligible gifts was received. During calendar year 1997, an additional $6.5 million was received and $4 million was received in calendar year 1998.
- The $6.8 million in state funds to match the private gifts received in 1997 was transferred by the state to the University in December 1998 and January 1999 and invested promptly.
- In February 1999, the Board of Trustees submitted to the State a request for $7.5 million in matching funds to be paid against the endowment gifts received in 1998, 1997 and 1996, which had not been previously submitted.
- In recognition of the program’s success, the General Assembly enacted a continuation and restructuring of the match on a 1:2 basis (one state dollar to every two private dollars). From Fiscal Year 2000 to Fiscal Year 2007, the state grant will total up to $52.5 million, depending on the level of match-eligible donations actually received. Through June 30, 1999 $17.0 million in pledges have been received as part of the 1:2 matching gift program.
- Total endowment assets for the University as of June 30, 1999 were $181 million, including the Foundation’s total endowment assets of $176 million. Foundation endowment assets grew 43% from the $123 million in Foundation assets as of June 30, 1998.
- Richard Treibick, a trustee at the University, has donated $1 million to support three key areas at UConn: the School of Business Administration, the Division of Athletics, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. The gift is the largest ever from a University trustee. Treibeck’s comprehensive gift included $600,000 to establish a new program to conduct technical research and development in electronic commerce at the School of Business. The business faculty includes a number of renowned experts in this emerging field. Treibick’s gift also included $200,000 to establish a scholarship fund for academically gifted student-athletes in the Women’s Tennis and Crew Programs. The final $200,000 will help support another new initiative, the Thomas J. Dodd Program for the Study of International Justice and Human Rights.
- Tommie dePaola, an award-winning illustrator and writer of children’s books, donated a substantial body of archival materials (including illustrations, sketches, collages and books) to the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
- The University received a remainder trust, established by Dorothy and Cameron Carlyle ’55. The $300,000 trust will ultimately add to their family scholarship fund, which supports undergraduate student scholarships.
- Samuel J. Orr, Jr., ’61 endowed a $3 million scholarship for students from 11 north-central Connecticut towns to attend the University. Orr created the scholarship fund in remembrance of a former professor who helped finance his education at the University of Connecticut in the early 1940’s. Orr, a former UConn soccer player, also gave $100,000 to support the men’s and women’s soccer programs.
- Rosalie and Edward Zuraw ’50 established the Ed and Rosalie (Barry) Zuraw Scholarship Fund, an endowment that helps undergraduate and graduate students attend UConn.