Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the third of four packages included in their Local Jobs and Projects Plan, focused on investing in higher education facilities and assets across the state. The proposal invests $447 million in General Obligation Bonds to maintain, update, and modernize public college and university campuses across the state to better serve the students of Minnesota. This funding will leverage an additional $41 million in Minnesota State financing for a total investment in higher education of $488 million.
“Every Minnesotan deserves access to opportunities that will lead to a bright future, and for many, that means attending a higher education institution,” said Governor Walz. “But insufficient space, aging facilities, and outdated technology on college campuses aren’t just holding our students back – they’re holding Minnesota back in the face of a workforce shortage that’s impacting every corner of the state. This critical funding would address that gap by providing the 21st century education needed to prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow that our businesses are creating today.”
The higher education package will support schools across the state – from two-year technical programs to four-year universities – to meet the demands of the modern workforce. In the face of a workforce shortage across industries, this funding would support increasing space and updating technology and facilities in high-demand programs like nursing and health sciences, integrated manufacturing, business and technology, STEM, child development, among many others, while also renovating aging spaces that impact every corner of our college campuses and modernizing the learning experience. This support for post-secondary institutions is necessary to provide Minnesota students with a world-class education and develop the talent needed to keep growing Minnesota’s economy. It will also ease pressure on campus operating budgets, which have unfortunately fallen on the backs of students in the form of tuition increases.
With a focus on opportunity today, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor also described how considerations of equity weighed into their bonding project selection process. Their process prioritized projects that create more equitable access to state resources and programs. The Local Jobs and Projects Plan includes $30 million toward capital projects requested by community organizations led by and serving Native communities and communities of color. The proposal also calls for capital budget outreach and assistance to give agencies the capacity to proactively communicate about the state bonding process and support organizations and communities receiving general obligation bonds who have not traditionally participated in the state bonding process. Finally, the plan recommends that local governments receiving capital grants comply with equal pay and workforce participation goals.
“For too long, communities of color and Native communities have been left out of state initiatives that foster growth and opportunity,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “That’s why our Administration proactively sought out requests from communities that have not traditionally participated in the state bonding process to ensure Minnesotans of all backgrounds benefit from our Local Jobs and Projects Plan. We’re also recommending that local governments who receive capital grants meet equal pay and workforce participation goals to create more career opportunities for women, people of color, and others traditionally under-represented in the construction industry.”
Responding to urgent requests from communities in every corner of Minnesota, Governor Walz’s capital investments proposal includes more local projects than any bonding bill in state history. The first two packages focused on safe and affordable housing and water quality and infrastructure. The final piece of the Local Jobs and Projects Plan will bolster public safety and quality of life projects across the state.
Governor Walz knows that local projects mean local jobs. That’s why he believes we need to make these critical capital investments in communities across the state and ensure all Minnesotans enjoy a high quality of life, regardless of race or zip code.
Please see the allocation of funding for higher education and equity below.
MINNESOTA STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR)
The Governor recommends $142.5 million for Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement funding to repair and replace buildings across the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. The funds will go to exterior updates, HVAC repairs, and safety features. Minnesota State’s total current deferred maintenance needs are estimated to be $1 billion for state-supported buildings.
Anoka-Ramsey Community College: Nursing and Business
The Governor recommends $16.282 million for construction of nursing and business classrooms and labs on the Coon Rapids campus at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. This project would expand the capacity of the nursing and business programs and improve facilities to meet industry standards. This would reduce deferred maintenance by $4.9 million.
Normandale Community College: Classroom and Student Services
The Governor recommends $26.634 million to complete Phase 2 of the College Services building project at Normandale Community College, which renovates classrooms, faculty and student support services. The project makes upgrades to the school’s common spaces by improving wayfinding, adding new spaces for student study, reorganizing faculty offices and updating classrooms. This project eliminates $5.4 million in deferred maintenance.
Minnesota State University Moorhead: Weld Hall
The Governor recommends $17.29 million to design Phase 1 of the Weld Hall renovation project at Minnesota State University Moorhead. The design will address significant deferred maintenance, improve teaching, and rightsize classrooms. This project will eliminate $8.4 million in deferred maintenance.
Inver Hills Community College: Technology and Business Center
The Governor recommends $14.653 million to renovate the Business Building and to construct a connection to Heritage Hall at Inver Hills Community College. This increases classroom sizes and will co-locate nearly all of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math academic programs on campus. This project would eliminate $7.4 million in deferred maintenance.
Saint Paul College: Academic Excellence
The Governor recommends $937,000 to design the renovation of classroom space on the St. Paul College campus. This project will address outdated classrooms and labs for STEM and liberal arts classes and workforce trade programs, the need for a new Food Service and Culinary food preparation demonstration and service areas, and the consolidation of Student Services. Once completed, this project will address $3.8 million in deferred maintenance.
Minneapolis College: Management Education Center Metro Baccalaureate Initiative
The Governor recommends $10.254 million to complete Phase 1, which renovates a building with a damaged roof and failing HVAC systems. The space will serve business, management, and economics students attending the two-year Minneapolis College (MCTC) and four-year Metropolitan State University. Once completed, this would reduce deferred maintenance by $9.6 million.
Vermilion Community College: Classroom Building
The Governor recommends $2.576 million to design and renovate six general purpose classrooms within the Classroom Building and the College Center. The project creates flexible adaptive learning environments; increases technological capabilities; renovates two sets of restrooms, adjacent corridors and lobby areas; creates a new entryway; and replaces the Classroom Building roof. This project will eliminate $1.3 million in deferred maintenance.
Central Lakes College: Student Services and Academic Support
The Governor recommends $8.275 million to design the renovation of the Student Services and Academic Support spaces, as well as the physical education and athletic facilities on the Central Lakes College campus. This project will eliminate $516,000 in deferred maintenance.
Northland Community and Technical College: Effective Teaching and Learning Labs
The Governor recommends $2.22 million to renovate classroom and lab spaces to meet the needs of four health science programs and the computer networking program. This project removes $776,000 in deferred maintenance.
Minnesota State University Mankato: Armstrong Hall Replacement
The Governor recommends $6.691 million for design and renovation to prepare for the replacement of Armstrong Hall, a heavily-used, outdated building. The first phase would complete design and renovate the Clinical Sciences basement to accommodate some occupants of Armstrong Hall. When completed, the entire project would reduce deferred maintenance by $36.5 million total.
Winona State University: Center for Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Engagement, and Learning
The Governor recommends $3.218 million for design of a net-zero energy building that would replace two older buildings. The net-zero energy building will use a solar array and geothermal energy to power the building and contain flexible classroom space and student support services. Once completed, this project will eliminate $9.2 million in deferred maintenance.
Lake Superior College: Integrated Manufacturing Workforce Labs
The Governor recommends $985,000 for design of a new integrated manufacturing workforce lab. The Lake Superior campus currently rents space for this program. When completed, this project would reduce deferred maintenance by $2.5 million.
North Hennepin Community College: Center for Innovation and the Arts at Brooklyn Park
The Governor recommends $6.598 million for design to replace the Fine Arts Center with a new arts education studio, classrooms, and performing arts space. This project leverages multiple nearby programs — it establishes a “north Metro home” for the Metropolitan Baccalaureate initiative, creates a performing arts center, and may partner with the Osseo school district. When completed, it reduces $6.2 million in deferred maintenance.
Metropolitan State University: Cyber Security Program
The Governor recommends $3.923 million for the design and renovation of a cyber security teaching and research lab. This project would relocate a cyber security simulation facility and add research space. It reduces deferred maintenance by $326,000.
Pine Technical and Community College: Technical and Trades Labs
The Governor recommends $635,000 to design the renovation and construction of the technical and trades labs, classrooms, faculty space, health sciences spaces, and student support space at Pine Technical and Community College (PTCC). The completed project would reduce deferred maintenance by $276,000.
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR)
The Governor recommends $125 million for asset preservation across the University of Minnesota’s campuses. Asset preservation would focus on health, safety and accessibility, mechanical systems, utility infrastructure and energy efficiency, and building envelopes. Current total deferred maintenance for state-supported buildings is $2 billion.
Child Development Building Replacement
The Governor recommends $29.2 million to complete predesign, design, renovate, construct, furnish, and equip a new Institute of Child Development facility. This will replace the Institute’s current building, allow undergraduates, researchers and graduate students to co-locate, and create improved research facilities. This will remove approximately $11.9 million in maintenance backlog.
A.B. Anderson Hall Capital Renewal
The Governor recommends $4.4 million to renovate and restore 36,670 square feet and add 830 square feet in A.B. Anderson Hall on the Duluth campus. This building houses classrooms serving nearly 500 majors annually, as well as fine arts studios, workspaces, and academic offices. This project will upgrade the mechanical systems, life safety equipment, fire protection, and architectural finishes. This will remove approximately $4 million in deferred maintenance.
Chemistry Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory
The Governor recommends $65.6 million to demolish an outdated facility, and predesign, design, renovate and build a new lab space for undergraduate chemistry on the Twin Cities campus. This will remove approximately $20 million in deferred maintenance.
Equity in Bonding: Capital Projects
The Governor recommends $30 million to support capital projects from community-based organizations that are led by and serve communities of color and American Indians, as these organizations have not traditionally had access to capital investment from the state.
Equity in Bonding: Policy
The Governor recommends having all recipients of state general obligation bonds comply with the equal pay and workforce participation processes in the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Historically, people of color and women have been under–represented in the construction industry. This proposal recognizes the many benefits bonding projects bring and would create more career opportunities for individuals from these disenfranchised communities.
Capital Budget Outreach and Assistance
The Governor recommends $235,000 annually for Minnesota Management and Budget. This funding will increase the agency’s capacity to proactively raise awareness about the capital budget process and provide assistance around the requirements associated with receiving general obligation bond funding among nonprofits run by and for people of color, and small communities that have traditionally not participated in the state bonding process.