Millions in renovations approved

Julianne Lesch, Staff Writer

Sam Litra
(Top) Ed Pagano ’85 sits at the board of trustees meeting Oct. 26. (Bottom) President Tom Sullivan and David Daigle, board of trustees chairman, participate in the board of trustees meeting Oct. 25.

Over the next three years UVM is expected to spend roughly $107.1 million on a variety of on-campus construction projects.

The board of trustees, the University’s decision-making body, met Oct. 26  and 27 to discuss topics such as the renovations to McAuley Hall and the construction of a new psychological sciences medical research complex.   

Other issues discussed include the renaming of the Bailey/Howe Library, the SGA report and the increase in room and board costs for students.

Renaming of the Bailey/Howe Library

The board announced the approval of renaming the Bailey/Howe Library to the David Howe Library.

A committee was assembled last March to consider removing the name of Guy W. Bailey from the Bailey/Howe Library, which was announced by Daigle in a March 8 email.

This committee was assembled following spring 2018 protests by student activist group NoNames for Justice, who demanded the removal of Bailey’s name as a result of his contributions to the eugenics movement.

“I think we came to what we felt was the right decision, but it wasn’t an easy one,” said Sidney Hilker, a second-year medical student on the board, who was on the renaming committee. “It was a long process.”   

This committee unanimously recommended to the board to change the name of the Bailey/Howe Library, said Ron Lumbra, vice chair of the board of trustees.

“I fully support the committee’s endorsement to change the name of the library,” President Tom Sullivan said.

McAuley Hall

The board approved increased funding of deferred maintenance plans to McAuley Hall from $3 million to $6.1 million in order to address other issues in the residence hall.

According to the board book, a document containing the board reports, initial renovations to McAuley Hall were approved by the board last fall. The project will expand this year in order to fix issues such as the roof, replace the heating system and the removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials.   

McAuley Hall will be closed during the 2019-2020 school year as fixes are made to the building, the board book stated.

Residential Life’s funds used for building and renovating usable spaces on campus will be used to pay for this project.

Psychological sciences medical research complex

The board approved the spending plan for the Psychological Sciences Medical Research Complex.

Six million dollars will be taken from the Larner College of Medicine’s reserves to fund the remainder of the design, the board book stated.

According to the book, the Psychological Sciences Medical Research Complex would support the University’s research mission and eliminate the deferred maintenance on the Given Medical Building and John Dewey Hall.

Last fall, Rick Morin, dean of the Larner College of Medicine; Bill Falls, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Tom Gustafson, vice president of relations and administration; and Capital Planning Director Bob Vaughan introduced a collaboration between the Larner College of Medicine and the College of Arts and Sciences department of psychological sciences that would result in the building of a new research complex.

Room and meal plan increase

University Budget Director Alberto Citarella discussed an increase in room and board fees.

Traditional double rooms will see a 3.75 percent increase in cost, while meal plans will increase by 3.5 percent, said trustee Don McCree, chair of the Finance and Investment Committee.

From the 2019 to 2020 fiscal year, traditional double dorms will increase from $8,196 to $8,502, according to a comparison chart in the board book. Predominate meal plans will increase from $4,266 to $4,414.

From 2017 to 2018, the prices for double dorms and meal plans increased from $7,634 and $3,944 to $7,900 and $4,122, respectively, according to the February 2017 board book. The increases in prices have remained consistently between 3.4 to 3.8 percent every year since 2014.

The increase in price for housing is a result of new program additions, such as residence-based learning communities and a meal plan contract with Sodexo, McCree said.

The increase in room and board follows an increase in both in-state and out-of-state tuition by 2.7 percent, which was announced in the last board of trustees meeting in May.

SGA Report

SGA President Ethan Foley, a junior, presented his second report to the board of trustees. Foley shared core initiatives SGA is working on this school year.

Foley discussed the need for affordable housing within the Burlington area for students.

“Providing students with more affordable and available housing is the first step toward decreasing unreasonable prices elsewhere in the Burlington area,” Foley said.

Foley also focused on reducing food insecurity on campus.

“As president, my primary focal point for the year will be food insecurity,” Foley said. “Studies conducted right here at UVM have shown that staggering numbers of undergraduates who live off-campus in Burlington are challenged with food insecurity on a regular basis.”

SGA senators and the Food Insecurity Working Group, a campus-wide committee, are working together to create an on-campus food pantry for undergraduate students, Foley said.   

SGA is also working on implementing the Swipe Out Hunger campaign, Foley said.

“Swipe Out Hunger is a national campaign to take students’ expired dining dollars to be used for students who need an extra meal,” he said.