With the final cost of improvements to Folsom Field totaling $24 million above the original budget, CU-Boulder leadership last week told the Board of Regents that lessons have been learned and changes are being made for better results in the future.
Kelly Fox, CU-Boulder senior vice chancellor and CFO, appeared before the board during its meeting Friday at UCCS to request a final $6.3 million in funding needed for completion of the renovation and expansion of facilities at the football stadium. Total final cost of the project is $166.2 million.
In her presentation, Fox explained how several factors – including an ambitious construction timeline, unexpectedly challenging soil at the construction site and high turnover of internal and external staff – contributed to the higher costs. A review of the process resulted in recommendations that are being acted on, such as enhanced project management training, communication tools and contracting strategies, as well as the hiring of a new vice chancellor for infrastructure and safety, just announced Wednesday. (Read more on the project here.)
The board voted 8-0 to approve the final funding (Regent Irene Griego was not in attendance), but not before expressing disappointment in the cost.
“I appreciate all the work the campus has put in … and I get why it happened and I know we’re fixing it, but that’s real money,” said Regent Stephen Ludwig, D-Denver. “It makes me sick to my stomach to see that kind of money wasted.”
Regent Michael Carrigan, D-Denver, disagreed with the characterization of the cost overrun as being wasted money, “though I am disappointed we’re over budget. … Still, thanks to the leadership of (Athletic Director) Rick George and others, we’re exceeding the original expectations on fundraising.” Chancellor Phil DiStefano told the board that George will soon announce total fundraising thus far as reaching between $85 million and $95 million of the announced $105 million goal.
In other business at the Feb. 18-19 Board of Regents meeting at UCCS:
- The board voted 7-2 to form an ad hoc academic affairs committee, a proposed three-member, bipartisan committee that would streamline the vetting of degree proposals, sabbaticals and other matters. The current academic affairs committee consists of all nine board members. Regents Michael Carrigan, D-Denver, and Glen Gallegos, R-Grand Junction, voted against the change.
- Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia appeared and was honored by the board, which adopted a resolution of gratitude and appreciation for his service to higher education in Colorado.
- The board approved a new experience design degree and changes to existing degrees at CU-Boulder. Read more here.