Library placed on the back burner

No money for the library, said the capital facilities and administrative services appropriations subcommittee yesterday.

Although the recommendations may be ignored by the executive appropriations committee, money to begin renovation of the Marriott Library to make it seismically sound will not be recommended to the committee.

“These decisions reflect peoples’ biases and where they’re from,” said Rep. Ralph Becker.

Despite being given second priority by the Utah System of Higher Education, the library didn’t even make the recommendation list, though four other schools given lower priority did.

The committee was most likely intimidated by the size and scope of the project, said Nancy Lyon, legislative lobbyist for the U.

“It’s hard to understand how the Legislature can choose to ignore very real issues,” she said.

Kevin Walthers, fiscal analyst, said Becker was the only committee member advocating the library.

“The library was not a priority for enough of them,” he said.

Committee members from rural areas usually vote in a bloc for their own schools and sometimes have hostility toward the U, Becker said. Some questioned how much the building was really in danger.

Becker said he encourages students to pay attention to how their representatives voted because some who represent U students and their families did not vote for the library.

Andrew Kirk