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Governor Allocates $62.8 Million for Improvements to University of Hawaii Campuses

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle has released $62,792,000 to the University of Hawaii (UH) to finance capital improvements to campuses statewide, as well as to construct the university’s first information technology center.

“Providing our university and community college students with modern facilities and cutting-edge information technology capabilities is essential to ensuring they receive the high quality education they need to prepare for their careers,” said Governor Lingle. “These construction projects will also help stimulate our economy and create jobs for residents statewide.”

“We are pleased to be able to move forward on these important projects,” said UH President M.R.C. Greenwood. “The release of these funds will clear the way for critical upgrades to our information technology system and help bring to fruition some much-needed upgrades through our Project Renovate to Innovate. These CIP projects deliver a triple bottom line for the state – they generate jobs, enhance our ability to compete and pursue work that benefits the community and they maximize our return on federal dollars.

“I want to thank Governor Lingle and the state Legislature for their continued support of the University of Hawai‘i and for recognizing that the university is a wise investment in helping to build the state’s economy and its preferred future.”

Information Technology Center

The majority of the funds released, $48,302,000, will be used to complete the design and construction of a systemwide information technology center on the UH Mānoa campus that would support the information technology needs for the entire university system. The development of the information technology center is critical to address the vulnerability of the university’s information and communications infrastructure.

The existing computing center, data communications hub, phone system and video hub are dispersed throughout the Mānoa campus. The current facilities cannot support energy-efficient operations and lack adequate backup infrastructure.

The new information technology center will enable the provision of reliable, 24x7 university-wide technology services to support education, research and administration for all UH campuses throughout the state. The new center will house central computing, data networking, telephone and video resources, with reliable power and connectivity to improve and facilitate disaster responsiveness through natural and man-made disasters. The center will also provide an emergency situation room for use during disasters and other emergencies.

The information technology center will also provide space for faculty to develop instructional and media content in support of their teaching and research; create new space for students to work with information technologies; provide access to teleconferencing capabilities for faculty and staff to connect with colleagues and peers around the world; and offer space to sustainably house program-specific servers and data storage now scattered around the university.

The total estimated cost of the project is $53,294,000. The projected completion date is November 2012.

Capital Improvements

The university will use $12,490,000 to renovate buildings on the Mānoa and Hilo campuses as part of the UH Project Renovate to Innovate initiative passed under Act 180 this year. The renovation projects include:

  • Webster Hall, UH Mānoa ($8 million) – The scope of this project is to renovate the existing third floor of Webster Hall to create a UH Transnational Health Simulation Center. The new center will enhance interdisciplinary biomedical and behavioral research and education from several schools and colleges, including the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i, College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences. The center will also provide collaboration opportunities with UH Hilo’s College of Pharmacy via distance programming.
  • Snyder Hall, UH Mānoa ($2 million) – The funds will go toward the renovation of Snyder Hall, originally built in 1962, into a modern laboratory, office and support facility for life sciences research. The total estimated cost of this project is $48 million.
  • Wentworth Hall, UH Hilo ($2.34 million) – This project will replace and/or upgrade Wentworth Hall’s air conditioning system, built-in equipment, and interior finishes. Additionally, lighting and fire protection systems will be upgraded. Wentworth Hall was built in 1965. The total estimated cost of this project is $5 million.
  • Keaukaha and Pana‘ewa Research Facilities, UH Hilo ($150,000) – The funds will go toward the renovation of fresh and salt water pumping and distribution systems to ensure stability of aquatic life-support facilities, development of appropriate research laboratories, improvements to large concrete tanks, and support spaces. The total estimated cost of the project is $6.35 million.

Community Colleges

Two million dollars will be used to fund design and construction of capital improvement projects at UH community college campuses. These renovations include:

  • Kaua‘i Community College – renovation of classroom to a science laboratory.
  • Maui Community College – renovation of the existing Science Building for Allied Health Programs.
  • Leeward Community College – structural repairs, interior renovations and improvements to the theater.
  • Windward Community College – renovation of Hale Na‘auao for classrooms, offices and support spaces.

Submitted by Lenny Klompus, Senior Advisor of Communications to the governor

Short URL: http://www.hawaiireporter.com/?p=20561

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