Stadium additions also approved
The USC Board of Trustees approved a doubling of the budget for the McBryde dorm renovations to $990,000, along with other new funding and funding changes, at its meeting Friday.
Housing Maintenance Reserve Funds will provide the money for the McBryde renovations. Other approved funding includes $485,000 for renovations at the USC School of Medicine VA campus on Garners Ferry Road, provided by the School’s Institutional Capital Funds, and $990,000 for a new women’s restroom and improved electrical capacity at Williams-Brice Stadium, provided by Athletic Operating funds.
Tom Quasney, USC’s associate vice president for facilities, said the funding for the McBryde and the School of Medicine renovations are housing revenues generated from housing fees, vending machines and conferences. USC Athletics is self-funded and does not draw from tuition.
The increase in price for McBryde renovations was attributed to “unforeseen life safety issues requiring immediate replacement” in the minutes of the Board meeting. Quasney cited a wiring problem.
“Initially, we tried to keep it under $500,000 and concentrate on cosmetic improvements, such as painting and replacing carpet and ceiling tiles,” Quasney said. “However, we saw that some wiring issues needed to be addressed, so that meant the project would exceed $500,000 and then become a capital project that would require state approval. As a result, to be more efficient in the long run and prevent having to go back at a later date, we went ahead and replaced external and corridor doors and added card access for the building.”
Quasney said that state approval for capital projects takes about 18 months, so the university always tries to cut “non-critical” facets of projects to keep below the $500,000 mark.
The Board was also given four proposals for the future of the law school. The most expensive option is an $89.3 million new building on Senate Street, followed by an $82.5 million “adaptive reuse” of the Carolina Coliseum. The other two options are a $53.1 million renovation of the existing building and a $69.7 renovation and addition combination. The law school dropped into the unranked third tier in the 2011 edition of US News and World Report and the nearly 40-year-old building is in poor condition. One of the Board members announced at the meeting that the hole in the roof had finally been patched.
The source of funding for repairing Blossom Street Garage shifted from federal stimulus funds to Parking Operating funds. Edward Walton, USC’s associate vice president for operations, said the stimulus money could only go to projects directly related to academics. But the stimulus funds will simply go to a different project, said USC President Harris Pastides.
“It’s not becoming more expensive, it’s just swapping the funding source out,” Pastides said.