Surplus allocated to campus renovations


Conservative budgeting has resulted in a $4.5 million surplus for St. Edward’s University, according to  Vice President of Financial Affairs Rhonda Cartwright.

“The university attempts to control costs whenever possible. The surplus reflects those efforts,” Cartwright said.

The Board of Trustees decides where to allocate funds and has slated $1 million of the surplus that stems from the budgeting for the 2012-2013 fiscal year to scholarships. This $1 million is in addition to the $42 million already spent by the university on scholarships this academic year. The remaining $3.5 million in the surplus has been allocated for capital renovations. These decisions are consistent with St. Edward’s master plan, according to Cartwright.

Although the majority of the surplus has been slated for renovations, the university has not specifically decided which building on campus is going to be renovated. There is a list of buildings that have been deemed in need of renovation. However, the list has not been prioritized, and it is unclear when the university will decide where to use the $3.5 million on campus.

“I am not sure when this discussion will take place,” Cartwright said.

On Sept. 25, Hilltop Views published an article that cited multiple reasons for renovating Andre Hall including asbestos in the carpet, inadequate restroom facilities and water damage from the pipes bursting. In light of the $3.5 million surplus allocated for renovations, Hilltop Views wanted to follow up on its original coverage of Andre Hall and see if this new money changed Andre Hall’s status for renovation.

Cartwright said Andre Hall is on the list of buildings with “more pressing need” to be renovated. However, Andre Hall has seven other campus buildings to compete with on this list. These buildings, in alphabetical order, include: Carriage House, Holy Cross Hall, Main Building, Mary Moody Northen Theatre, Moody Hall, Recreation and Convocation Center and Sorin Hall.  Cartwright said that this is not the exhaustive list of buildings that need renovations, but they are the buildings she classified with “more pressing need.”

There are also logistical issues that the university must contend with when planning renovations.

“In addition to budgetary constraints, renovations have to be staggered due to space constraints,” Dean of the School of Humanities Sharon Nell, whose office is in Andre Hall, said.

Doyle Hall, which was renovated in 2009, has been the solution since September 2012 when the construction that transformed the Scarborough-Phillips Library into the new Munday Library started. The third floor of Doyle Hall housed the library staff during the 2012-2013 academic year. 

Currently, campus ministry is located on the third floor of Doyle while Mang House and Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel are renovated.   

However, if the university were to renovate a building like Andre Hall, which is home to the School of Humanities, there would need to be a new solution. The third floor of Doyle Hall would not be sufficient space to relocate the bulk of the professors for the largest school on campus, and currently there is no plan. 

“The plan for renovation including temporary offices… has not been discussed,” Cartwright said.

This month, the university will begin planning for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Deans have been asked to identify potential savings should they be necessary in the case of an expected budget shortfall because of a decrease in New College’s enrollment. A specific dollar has not been given to the deans.   

“No one has been asked to make any cuts, only to identify savings to address a projected shortfall, should that happen,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Mary Boyd said.