Plans for business school rejected

By Rochelle McConkie

Legislators removed an amendment last night to a capital facilities bill that would have authorized the U to use private funds to renovate the David Eccles School of Business. Now the U must go with a plan the state approved three years ago to redo the business school.

The U will have to forgo plans to build 16 general-purpose classrooms, which would have been difficult to pay for anyway because the Legislature did not approve funding for the project, said Vice President for Government Relations Kim Wirthlin.

Wirthlin said the U wanted the amendment because it would have given more flexibility for the project.

She said Speaker of the House Greg Curtis, R- Sandy, “wanted the amendment out,” although she said she did not know why.

Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake City, defended the business school amendment, saying it did not make sense to remove approval because the bill would not allocate any state funds and the U has the money to pay for the project on its own.

“It seems to me a personal or a side issue,” Romero said.

Bill sponsor Scott Jenkins, R-Weber, said he pulled the bill because he understood that the House would not address it.

The bill passed 23 to 5, and also approved the U spending $90 million to build another 50-bed clinical cancer research hospital adjacent to the Huntsman Cancer Hospital, $21 million to build a parking structure in the northwest section of campus and expansion of the University Neuropsychiatric Institute in Research Park. These building projects will not be funded by the state.