Middle Tennessee State University’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to ask the state for an additional $20 million for its Applied Engineering building project to cover inflationary increases in construction cost.
MTSU received state approval last year for a new 89,000-square-foot, $54.9 million Applied Engineering Building that will serve as the home for the Engineering Technology and Mechatronics Engineering programs.
Joey Jacobs, chair of the board’s Finance and Personnel Committee, told trustees that “significant inflation in construction costs experienced by many higher education institutions (have) affected the capital outlay projects.”
As a result, Jacobs said, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission has worked with the state “to allow institutions to request additional funding on a previously approved project, instead of requesting a new project this year.”
The Applied Engineering Building, set to be located to the south of the new building for the School of Concrete and Construction Management, will further establish an area called the Science Corridor of Innovation along Alumni Drive.
A new 54,000-square-foot, $40.1 million Concrete and Construction Management building is almost complete, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony set for mid-October.
“The Applied Engineering Building will be the next step in the campus master plan to rejuvenate this area of campus and its applied sciences programs,” according to an architect’s report. “These buildings will serve as a new gateway into campus and set the tone for the future development and growth around the East Quad extension to the north of the site.”
The building will house the Engineering Technology Department, which offers degrees in Engineering Technology and Mechatronics Engineering. It, along with the School of Concrete and Construction Management, are part of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.
In other business, the board:
- heard Trustee Pam Wright share a resolution honoring the late Darrell S. Freeman Sr., the former vice chair who died June 28. Wright said Freeman “was a man of many talents and passions, with a vast array of accomplishments and achievements, honoring his perseverance and his humanity.”
- learned that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), MTSU’s primary accrediting body, reviewed the university’s fifth-year interim report and found it in compliance with 22 selected standards, issuing no findings for additional reporting.
- was told the Shelbyville City Council approved the city to purchase 32 acres located between the Shelbyville Municipal Airport and U.S. Route 231. A portion of this acquisition will be used for the new flight training campus for the Aerospace Department.
- modified parking policy so that all parking areas set aside for students in residence halls are reserved 24 hours a day. The policy also says now that all spaces not expressly designated as reserved are open after 4:30 p.m. and before 8 a.m. Mondays through Fridays.
- approved expedited tenure for Nancy Stone, recently hired as chair of the Philosophy Department from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
- added a requirement that sponsored and co-sponsored events that are open to the campus community and/or general public be made available to all attendees on an equal basis and to increase the participation threshold for spontaneous outdoor events to 50 individuals.
— Andrew Oppmann (Andrew.Oppmann@mtsu.edu)