Ten-year plan calls for $75 million in repairs

By Gus Bode

SIU has placed a large order for repairs and the bill is ringing up to $75 million.

A 10-year spending plan to address deferred maintenance across the campus is moving forward after its approval at the April 10 meeting of the SIU Board of Trustees. The $75 million will go towards the most pressing matters of what officials estimate to be a $300 million to $500 million deferred maintenance deficit on the campus.

According to the board’s Web site, the plan’s funding will come from a $25 million bond sale and the facilities maintenance fee.


SIU spokesman Dave Gross said none of the bonds have been bought or sold yet and the university is three years away from issuing them.

The facilities maintenance fee, which is currently $144 per semester, is set to increase 33 percent in the next year to $192 per semester. The next eight years of the plan have a proposed 3 percent increase each year, according to the plan

The fee was first enacted in April 2007. At the time, Physical Plant Director Phil Gatton said the money would first have to go toward paying increased utility bills.

The plan is also scheduled to fund several projects in 2009, including work on campus roofs, steam tunnels, the SIUC Power Plant and other building upgrades.

The board must approve individual large-scale projects if their costs are projected to surpass $250,000, Gross said.

Gatton has said one of the first projects under this new plan will be new roofs for Faner Hall and the Agriculture Building. Problems have existed with both roofs for some time, he said.

The leaking water had gotten so bad in the south side of the Agriculture Building that bags were attached to the ceiling to collect the water. Connected to the bottom of the bags were tubes to funnel the excess water into garbage cans.


Several other projects in the plan are not set to start for several years. In 2011, $1.25 million is scheduled to go toward lighting at Shryock Auditorium.

Matt Shackleton, assistant director of Shryock, said the money would go toward a new dimmer system for the auditorium.

“The system was installed in 1969 and was supposed to have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years,” Shackleton said.

Shackleton said the auditorium rents equipment when they have acts that need lighting they can’t facilitate.

Scott Pike, former superintendent for building maintenance, estimated in May 2007 that the deferred maintenance deficit had increased by $25 million during a one-year period.

But Gross said he does not expect the deferred maintenance deficit to grow faster than what is accounted for in the plan.

“Once you fix a roof, that’s done. It should last for another 25 years,” Gross said.

Luke McCormick can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 254 or [email protected].