The budget proposes $142.8 million to fund 25 major capital outlay projects and $10.5 million for minor capital outlay projects from general obligation bonds. The estimated cost to complete these projects is $94 million. Figure 1 summarizes these projects.
|California State University
2000-01 Major Capital Outlay Program
|(Dollars in Thousands)|
|Type of Project||Number of Projects||Budget Bill Amount||Estimated Future Cost|
|Undergraduate Instructional Improvements|
We recommend approval of $89.7 million for 23 major capital outlay projects and $10.5 million for minor capital outlay projects. The future cost for these projects is $90 million. The two projects we recommend the Legislature not fund are discussed below. We also discuss issues related to the California State University (CSU) San Bernardino, Coachella Valley Off-Campus Center.
We recommend the Legislature delete the $14,450,000 requested for construction of this project because a new building is not needed and was not approved by the Legislature prior to its initiation with nonstate funds. (Delete $14,450,000 from Item 6610-302-0574 .)
The budget proposes construction funding for a 40,000 assignable square foot (asf) building with 3,990 asf classrooms, 23,300 asf teaching laboratories, 2,685 asf for instructional support, and 9,800 asf for faculty and administrative offices to house programs in earth systems science and policy. According to CSU, funding for preliminary plans and working drawings has been obtained from nonstate sources. The proposed project, however, has not been in the campus's five-year capital outlay improvement plan until this year.
According to CSU, the Monterey Bay campus currently has capacity for 2,385 full-time equivalent (FTE) students, an enrollment of 2,080 FTE students, and projects an enrollment of 5,864 FTE students in 2006-07.
The Monterey Bay campus was established when a portion of the Fort Ord Army Base was transferred to CSU as part of the process of deactivating the base. The CSU prepared a needs analysis ("CSU Monterey Bay: Planning for a New University at Fort Ord") that was submitted to the California Postsecondary Education Commission and was the basis for the state's approval of a CSU campus at the Monterey Bay site. The needs analysis indicates that 84 buildings were to be received from the federal government and converted to campus use as necessary, and that they would be renovated with $128 million to be requested from the federal government. The needs analysis states that "Until the year 2005 it is expected that all capital construction costs will come from the federal government." It also indicates that "It is anticipated that remodeled Fort Ord buildings will be the sole source of the facilities for the campus through the year 2005, at least." The only facilities for which state funding would be sought after 2005 are:
We have three concerns with this proposal. First, the state accepted CSU's proposal to establish a Monterey Bay campus on the basis of the commitments made in the needs analysis, including the commitment to not seek state capital outlay funds until at least 2005 and then for specific facilities. This proposal is contrary to that commitment. Second, it is not clear why the numerous vacant buildings on the campus cannot be renovated to suit program needs. And third, we have consistently recommended the Legislature not fund construction of facilities if the preliminary plans and working drawings have been funded from nonstate sources and the Legislature has never had an opportunity to review the entire project and consider its funding needs in light of the Legislature's statewide priorities. To do otherwise puts the Legislature in the position of accepting a project as a fait accompli without having had the opportunity to exercise its legislative authority.
In light of the above, we recommend the Legislature delete funding for this project and direct CSU to adhere to the master plan contained in its needs analysis and utilize nonstate funds for capital outlay at the campus until at least 2005.
We recommend the Legislature delete $38.7 million for construction of this project because a new library is not needed at this time. We also recommend the Legislature not fund projects when nonstate funds have been expended prior to Legislative approval, and direct the California State University to discontinue the practice of seeking nonstate funds for projects involving state costs prior to receiving legislative approval of the project. (Delete $38,710,000 from Item 6610-302-0574 .)
The budget proposes $38.7 million for construction of a 140,200 asf library which also includes a technology center and interim lecture space. Preliminary plans and working drawings for the project were funded with nonstate funds. The Legislature has not previously had an opportunity to consider the need for the project and how it relates to the Legislature's statewide priorities for capital outlay funding. In addition to the budget request, CSU indicates that a future project estimated to cost $5 million will be requested to alter the current library space for other uses. We have the following concerns with this project.
First, it is not clear that a new library is needed at this time. The CSU has not provided any information on current library space on the campus. Thus, there is no basis for evaluating the adequacy of existing space or the need for more space. Furthermore, the project is not justified based on current or projected enrollment at the campus. The proposal is to construct a library for an enrollment of 8,000 FTE students. The CSU expects to complete the new library in 2003. However, current enrollment at San Marcos is 3,964 FTE students and is projected to reach 7,000 in 2007-08 (the last year of projections). Thus, this new library would not be needed until after 2007-08 and would not need to be funded for construction until 2004-05, at the earliest. If facilities were utilized year-round the project probably would not be needed until many years after that.
In addition, we have the same concern with this project as with the Monterey Bay project discussed above. The CSU is asking the Legislature to appropriate nearly $40 million to construct a building because CSU independently proceeded with preliminary plans and working drawings for the project using nonstate funding sources. The Legislature, however, was not asked to approve this project before CSU proceeded and has never had an opportunity to review and consider the need for the project or how it fits with the Legislature's statewide priorities for spending limited bond funds. Instead, CSU is now, after the fact, asking the Legislature to fulfill funding commitments that may have been made by CSU. This places the Legislature in an untenable position and CSU should stop this practice. While CSU should be encouraged to obtain nonstate funding to assist in meeting capital outlay needs, seeking nonstate funds for projects involving state costs should only occur if the Legislature agrees that the project is a priority for state funding.
In view of CSU's action on this project and the Monterey Bay project discussed above, we recommend the Legislature (1) not fund projects when nonstate funds have been solicited prior to legislative approval and (2) direct CSU to discontinue the practice of seeking nonstate funds for projects involving state costs prior to receiving legislative approval of the project.
We recommend the Legislature not act on the California State University's (CSU's) capital outlay requests for CSU San Bernardino until CSU reports to the Legislature on the current plans and any commitments CSU has made with regard to the CSU San Bernardino, Coachella Valley Off-Campus Center and how CSU plans to fund any future capital improvements.
The CSU San Bernardino, Coachella Valley Off-Campus Center in Palm Desert is estimated by CSU to have a current enrollment of about 370 FTE students. This is projected to increase to about 615 FTE students in 2006-07. There are no capital outlay proposals for this center in the Governor's budget nor in the CSU Five-Year Capital Improvement Program. However, CSU has requested $380,000 in its support budget (see our discussion in the "Higher Education" chapter of this Analysis) to move from facilities it currently shares with the College of the Desert community college to a new, nonstate funded center. The CSU has not provided any information on the new center but information on the CSU Web site indicates $9 million of private funds have been raised to construct the first building of a planned $29 million CSU campus on a 40-acre site. The Web site also indicates that CSU received the 40 acres from the City of Palm Desert under a memorandum of understanding that would provide another 160 acres if CSU decides to establish a campus within 20 years.
This is yet another example of CSU proceeding with major developments that have significant state funding implications before receiving legislative approval. In view of the significance of this new center and the cost implications, we recommend the Legislature not act on the CSU's capital outlay requests for the San Bernardino campus until CSU provides a detailed report to the Legislature on its current plans and any commitments CSU has made with regard to the Coachella Valley Center and how CSU is planning to fund any future capital improvements. (The projects proposed for CSU San Bernardino include $3,022,000 for equipment for the Behavioral Sciences Building and $4,671,000 for construction of telecommunications infrastructure.)