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Testimony to the Maryland General Assembly Presented by Dr. Wallace D. Loh President, University of Maryland, College Park March 2011 I am pleased to provide testimony to the General Assembly for our FY 2012 capital budget request. We appreciate the General Assembly’s on going support of our capital requests. However, space renewal and new building spaces remain our greatest long-term programmatic and fiscal challenges. Our deferred maintenance backlog is now three-quarters of a billion dollars and continues to escalate. Our space shortage is 1.6M NASF in Fall 2009 and is projected to rise to 2.0M NASF by 2019. With an existing inventory of about 7M NASF, these space shortages are very significant. Detail regarding our space shortages is attached.

Physical Sciences Complex Phase I ($30.1M for Second Phase of Construction Funds) This request is for the second phase of construction funds for Phase I of a three phased plan to provide urgently needed replacement space for our Physical Sciences programs. These programs have been operating in substandard and inadequate space for many years. Wiring in the Toll Physics Building crumbles in the hands of maintenance staff replacing light fixtures, circuits are overloaded, and piping frequently fails resulting in flooding. The Physics Department lost a member of the National Academy of Sciences to another university, in part, because of the inability of the infrastructure in the Toll Physics Building to support his research. In October 2002, an electrical panel in the Toll Physics Building exploded and an electrical maintenance employee tragically died. In January 2010 we were awarded $10.3M from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which, with a 50 percent match from State funds for the project, allowed us to add 41 labs to the project for a total of 145 labs. Subsequently, we received construction bid prices that resulted in the project being under budget by $5M. This has allowed us to add 16 more labs (3,968 NASF/6,354 GSF) to the project without additional funds, for a total of 161 labs. The additional labs will help reduce our critical research space deficit of 780,751 NASF (Fall 2009).

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We appreciate the General Assembly’s support for Phase I and the previous allocations totaling $50.7M for planning and the first phase of construction. Construction started in July 2010 and is well underway (photograph of construction site attached). We urge the General Assembly to continue to support Phase I and provide the $30.1M required to continue construction. Project Description This project is the first phase of a three-phased plan to provide a new home for the Department of Physics, the Department of Astronomy, and the Institute for Physical Sciences and Technology (IPST). Phase I, sized at 85,846 NASF/160,246 GSF will be attached to the east side of the existing Computer and Space Sciences Building (CSS) in the northeast sector of the campus. More than half of the NASF in Phase I will be dedicated to solving the pressing need for modern research laboratory facilities. In addition, there will be offices and meeting spaces for the faculty, students, and staff. Phase I is intended to replace some of the existing facilities, which are dilapidated and obsolete; to provide additional research space so that the volume of sponsored research can be increased; and to ameliorate campus-wide shortages in research space. Phases II and III will ultimately increase the size of the complex to 195,052 NASF/368,446 GSF and replace the remaining substandard facilities. It will also bring the units together in one location to overcome operational inefficiencies resulting from physical separation of the units. Phase I will begin to solve the following two major problems for the University: 1) Quality of the space - the units to be housed in the new building primarily occupy three aged, dilapidated, and obsolete buildings. They are the Physics Building, built in 1950; the IPST Building, opened in 1955; and the Computer and Space Sciences Building, built in 1963. 2) Lack of research space – the University has maximized the use of available space to accommodate sponsored research in the Physical Sciences, and soon will be in a position where it cannot accept new sponsored research opportunities in this field. Quality of Space: The Physics Building and portions of the IPST Building and Computer and Space Sciences Building are in failing condition. The conditions of those buildings can be summarized as follows: HVAC: In the Physics Building, classrooms are overheated and noisy; window A/C units inhibit learning; offices have hot and stagnant air; and environmental control in research labs is lacking which compromises research results. In the Physics and CSS Buildings, poor ventilation and inadequate dehumidification lead to elevated mold levels. The HVAC systems in all three buildings (Physics, CSS, IPST) are obsolete and replacement parts are difficult to obtain. Electrical: Most switchgear branch wiring and related devices are original to the three buildings’ construction. Wiring in the Physics Building is crumbling. An electrical panel in the Physics Building exploded in 2002, causing $2.6M in damages; tragically, an electrical maintenance employee died in the explosion. There is inadequate capacity to support the Macintosh HD:Users:linda:Library:Mail Downloads:Capital budget testimony March 2011.doc


growing number of computers. Systems are difficult to maintain due to the obsolescence of parts and the difficulty of obtaining replacement parts. The existing electrical systems of the three buildings have insufficient expansion capability to support the types of laboratory equipment necessary to conduct research. Other problems experienced by building residents are: power surges damaging equipment and interrupting on-going research; inadequate emergency backup power for research equipment; and overloading of inadequately sized circuits. Plumbing: Existing galvanized piping frequently fails in all three buildings resulting in leaks and occasional flooding. Repair efforts are compounded by the presence of asbestos. The leaks often damage expensive items of research equipment, interrupting and/or destroying the research they support. Structural: Multiple separations and cracks have emerged in the walls, columns, floor slabs and roof of the Physics Building. Lack of research space to accommodate new research programs: The Fall 2009 campuswide shortfall of research space is 780,751 NASF and it is projected to grow to 1,013,110 NASF in 2019. Physics, Astronomy, and IPST currently have 89,351 NASF of research space. The current State guidelines allowance for these units is 162,500 NASF. Phase I will add about 49,000 NASF in research space for these units. All research space is currently in use, virtually eliminating the possibility of further growth in sponsored research. As some research projects are closed out, extensive renovations are needed to accommodate new research projects, which reduce the budgets for those projects and disrupt activities in nearby spaces. The availability of modular, easily convertible labs would ameliorate these problems. Annual sponsored research awards for the three units have increased significantly from $23.6M in FY 2000 to $34.4M in FY 2007, $52.6M in FY 2008 and $62.3M in FY 2009. Based on this historical growth and the positive effect of the new research building, UM expects that the positive trends in sponsored research will continue. These space shortfalls reflect a critical problem for the University. Although UM has seen rapid growth in its national reputation and the scale of its externally funded research support, this growth is threatened by the chronic shortage of research space and by the poor condition of much of the space that is available. There are not enough laboratories. Existing laboratory space is often inadequate in terms of security, power, air quality, permanent equipment, and vibration isolation.

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UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK SPACE DEFICITS Below are the NASF space deficits based on Fall 2009 data.

MAJOR ROOM USES Classrooms Class Laboratories Research Laboratories Office Subtotal Study Spaces Other Room Uses* TOTAL

FALL 2009 Surplus/Deficit

Projected FALL 2019 Surplus/Deficit

(74,690) (25,607) (780,751) (197,242) (1,078,290)

(36,502) (32,746) (1,013,110) (273,077) (1,355,435)

(338,619) (190,013)

(430,619) (181,538)

(1,606,922)

(1,967,592)

*Special Use, General Use and Support Facilities -e.g., lounge, storage

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Capital Budget Testimony  

Testimony to the Maryland General Assembly Presented by Dr. Wallace D. Loh, President, University of Maryland, March 2011

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