Update on construction projects

Earlier this year, I extended the construction pause, instituted on November 3, 2008, in order to conduct a thorough review of the priority of new capital projects and maintenance projects and re-calibrate the university's capital budget to better align funding sources and proposed uses. Except for projects already ongoing at the time the pause was initiated, all major construction on the campus has been suspended. The review is proceeding apace so that decisions to move forward with selected projects can be made on a case-by-case basis and in a timeframe that is appropriate for each specific project while continuing careful discipline to control expenditures and the use of debt.

To ensure that the campus is kept well informed on the status of Cornell's capital program, and in response to the recently passed Faculty Senate resolution, we are instituting a new process to present information about projects that emerge from the review process and are approved for implementation. In keeping with the spirit of the Faculty Senate resolution, information on all approved capital projects is available for public review at CUinfo. The new link, prominently featured under "Budget Resources," provides access to data regarding specific capital projects as they occur. By clicking on each project listed, members of the Cornell community will obtain its purpose, justification, funding and status. This web site will be updated as new capital projects are approved.

Capital projects under review range from the construction of new buildings to improvements to existing laboratories, refurbishment of classrooms and public safety initiatives. As previously announced, all construction projects must satisfy the following criteria in order to be approved during the pause period and after:

  • The project must be deemed critical to either the mission of the university or the life and safety of the campus community.
  • The project must have an approved funding plan with the appropriate resources identified and available.

While we will allow selected projects that meet these criteria to go forward periodically, the community should not expect any dramatic change in the pace of the approval process until the university's financial situation recovers. Today, I have determined that the following projects meet the criteria specified and have authorized them to go forward. The projects are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Barton Hall Exterior Masonry Refurbishment and Roof Replacement
  • Bradfield Hall Building Systems Upgrade
  • Cornell Rowing Center Expansion
  • Duffield Hall MSE Research Lab Refurbishment
  • Electric System Upgrades
  • KAUST-Cornell Center for Energy and Sustainability at Kimball Hall Refurbishment
  • Kennedy Hall Landscape Architecture Studio Mezzanine Renovation
  • MacDonald Moot Courtroom Alterations
  • Mary Donlon Hall Elevators Upgrade
  • Potable Water System Pipeline Construction and Pump Station Improvements
  • Shoals Marine Lab Subsurface Water Treatment Construction
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon 2nd & 3rd Floor Restrooms Renovations
  • Sigma Phi Fraternity Kitchen Renovation

For further information, please feel free to consult the website described above at CUinfo.

David J. Skorton