New Science Facility Plans Postponed

Uh oh! Construction on the $160 million new Molecular and Life Sciences building has been indefinitely postponed due to new budgetary constraints, according to the new WSA report from the Board of Trustees. Construction was supposed to begin in 2009 and be finished by 2015, but it’s probably a good idea to put off the plans until there’s actually money to build it:

“You can’t just add, you have to cut,” Roth said. “I’m not going to increase the debt ratio just to get the building up…That’s why we’re having these conversations [about postponing construction] – “there’s a long history of Wesleyan spending money and not investing it properly.”

Roth went on to invoke the financial blunders of past University presidents, including the use of the University’s entire endowment to build the Center for Fine Arts (CFA), which was not yet completed when funds ran out.

…“The University is committed to investing in the sciences, but the upheaval in the financial markets requires us to revisit our original plans,” Bruno said.

10 thoughts on “New Science Facility Plans Postponed

  1. johnwesley

    the fellow sitting in back of me in 002PAC last Monday who was getting txt msgs all through Prof. Eisner’s presentation.

  2. johnwesley

    the fellow sitting in back of me in 002PAC last Monday who was getting txt msgs all through Prof. Eisner’s presentation.

  3. johnwesley

    I think Wesleyan already has a sizeable stake in so-called “fixed assets”. And, until quite recently, real estate was not known for its ability to realize huge gains even in a bull market. That speculative bubble may be burst forever. The larger question is whether Wesleyan knows which way it wants to expand, towards the river or further west along Long Lane? That would take some of the speculative nature out of the decision-making.

  4. johnwesley

    I think Wesleyan already has a sizeable stake in so-called “fixed assets”. And, until quite recently, real estate was not known for its ability to realize huge gains even in a bull market. That speculative bubble may be burst forever.

    The larger question is whether Wesleyan knows which way it wants to expand, towards the river or further west along Long Lane? That would take some of the speculative nature out of the decision-making.

  5. Anonymous

    Does the housing crisis mean that it would be much easier for Wesleyan to expand its property now, as an investment for later, perhaps?

  6. Anonymous

    Does the housing crisis mean that it would be much easier for Wesleyan to expand its property now, as an investment for later, perhaps?

  7. johnwesley

    the university did not “spend the entire endowment” to build CFA. However, it did frequently dip into the portfolio’s capital in order to complete building projects (including the Science Center) starting in the late sixties and ending in the early seventies. I don’t think there’s any question that those withdrawals, totalling some 13% of the value of the portfolio, over seven years, made Wesleyan’s endowment less resilient and contributed to its not fully participating in the bull market that was set to resume in the late 1970s.

  8. johnwesley

    the university did not “spend the entire endowment” to build CFA. However, it did frequently dip into the portfolio’s capital in order to complete building projects (including the Science Center) starting in the late sixties and ending in the early seventies. I don’t think there’s any question that those withdrawals, totalling some 13% of the value of the portfolio, over seven years, made Wesleyan’s endowment less resilient and contributed to its not fully participating in the bull market that was set to resume in the late 1970s.

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