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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Money still a concern as construction continues

By Katie Harrington

Fundraising is far from over for the new David Eccles School of Business’ new building that began construction last April, even with a contribution of $4.34 million from James Lee Sorenson and his family’s foundation.

“Most anything that is in the process of being built now on campus is not fully funded,” said Raelynn Potts, director of business affairs for the college. “You are usually fundraising while you are building and getting your current funding secured.”

The new business building, which is being constructed in two different phases, should be finished in the spring of 2013, Potts said. Until then, the goal is to raise $11 million more of the $62 million needed for completion.

The U received a $23 million bond from the state legislature last March that got the project rolling.

“But the Sorenson’s generous donation was the first big one of the donors,” Potts said.
Contributors thus far have been other alumni, entrepreneurs and Utah businessmen who are excited about the project and interested in investing in the business school, Potts said.
“But we are not announcing any of the donors specifically until we have cleared things with them,” Potts said. “At that time, we will make a public announcement.”

The U’s Office of Campus Design and Construction is busy with many other projects all over campus that were also started before full funding was raised.

“We have just about everything going on around campus,” said Tom Christensen, manager of campus design and construction. “We have new buildings. We have site utilities, which is infrastructure-type construction and remodeling.”

The biggest projects going on around campus are the Sorenson molecular biotechnology building, an expansion of the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the business building project, Christensen said.

“But we always have a funding plan that has been completed and approved before we ever start a project,” said John McNary, director of campus design and construction. “That means that most, or a good portion, of the money is already in hand and we have substantial assurance that the rest of the money is forthcoming.”

McNary said the U doesn’t just run off and start tearing up the ground unless the administration is “pretty sure that all the money is lined up.”

Funding for most projects around campus comes from donors, private businesses and their owners8212;such as the Sorenson and Eccles foundations8212;and other private donation organizations, Christensen said.

But if funds were to run out, the campus design and construction team said it would know what to do.

“(OSH) was built in three phases,” McNary said. “It was almost three distinct projects.”
The north end was built first. The middle part was not constructed until more money was raised, and when even more funds were accumulated, the southern end was completed, McNary said.

“How many times that’s occurred on campus, I’m really not aware of,” he said. “But there has not, to my knowledge, ever been a project that has not been able to be completed because of a lack of funding.”

Although $11 million to finish the business building expansion sounds like a lot, Potts said she is sure they’ll get the money they need.

“We only have a tiny bit left to fundraise, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have very generous donations,” he said.

Phase one should be completed in the fall of 2011.

For more information on this and other projects around campus, visit the facilities management page at

[email protected]

Mike Mangum

Despite having started construction on the new business building, the U is still looking to raise $11 million more to pay for construction. The building should be finished in the spring of 2013.

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