April 2, 2020

Thomas’ hopes to clear debt for residence halls, close Sessions

At the Utah Board of Regents September meeting, College of Eastern Utah President Ryan Thomas presented the 2008 Capital Development request.
He said CEU did not go with the Fine Arts Building as its priority this year, because he felt that the likelihood of funding for that project, as against the other projects in the queue, was not strong this year.

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At the Utah Board of Regents September meeting, College of Eastern Utah President Ryan Thomas presented the 2008 Capital Development request.
He said CEU did not go with the Fine Arts Building as its priority this year, because he felt that the likelihood of funding for that project, as against the other projects in the queue, was not strong this year.
Although CEU’s request was unusual, in that we requested that current residence halls debt be paid, rather than that new buildings be constructed, it was CEU’s best judgment that this request had the highest chance of receiving funding in this year, he said.
CEU’s request emerged at the top of the Regents list of priorities.   The Building Board will hear the requests in early October and the Regents’ and Building Board’s lists will be forwarded to the Utah State Legislature for their consideration in the upcoming session.  
Thomas used Kevin Walther’s PowerPoint presentation to highlight CEU’s unusual request. Walther is temporarily filling in the financial vice president’s position. He wrote that the problem arose almost 20 years ago when state policy makers (including the college, regents and legislature) embarked on an ambitious residence hall plan. The school maintains more dorm beds than it has out-of-the-area students. The mortgages on these buildings extend through 2028 (a 45-year debt of service)
Today, 80 percent of CEU’s students live in the college’s service area with only 20 percent coming from outside the area.
According to Walther’s presenta- tion, approximately 380 students attend CEU from outside the area. CEU maintains 450 dorm spaces for students.
CEU’s dorms are the least filled with Snow College, Dixie State College and Southern Utah University all with substantially higher occupancy rates.
Aaron Jones Residency Hall has 202 beds and has a loan balance of $1,711,000. They were built in three phases from 1993-97.
Tucker Hall has 60 beds and a loan balance of $116,00. It was built in 1983.
Burtenshaw Hall was built in 1990 and has 102 beds. There is no debt on this facility.
Sessions Hall has 94 beds and was built in 1968. It has no debt.
CEU’s San Juan has one dorm built in 1997 with a loan balance of $357,000. The amount of beds was not reported.
The total outstanding balance from all the dorms is $2,184,500.
Thomas hopes to gain $2.2 million from the state legislature to solve the ongoing mortgage balances. The residence halls will be managed as a proper auxiliary enterprise.
He plans to close Sessions and turn it over to the Applied Technology Program. The dorm is north of the LDS Church that will likely become part of the CEU/Central UCAT campus.

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