UNR faces $900 million maintenance backlog

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UNR faces $900 million maintenance backlog

Sean_mcgoldrick

Sean McGoldrick is associate vice president of facilities services for UNR.

Administrators at the University of Nevada, Reno are weighing different funding options to deal with a nearly $900 million backlog in maintenance work.

High-priority projects include replacing aging electrical, roofing, and HVAC systems, along with repairing roadways.

A report presented to the Board of Regents on Friday shows that the entire state system is suffering this backlog, but the UNR campus does present a unique challenge.

"We are the oldest facility in the state, of all the colleges and community colleges, so I think frankly, it's our older facilities that tend to ramp up the cost of repair. We have some facilities on the National Historic Register of Preservation, and of course, that demands a whole lot of money also to keep them at the level that we need to keep them."

That's Sean McGoldrick, associate vice president of facilities services for UNR. He says administrators are considering creating endowments, requesting a bond referendum, or increasing student fees to cover these growing expenses.

The Board of Regents has also proposed a task force to explore the options.

Until a solution is found, McGoldrick says the school will continue to pay for expensive Bandaids.

"When you have that kind of a backlog of $900 million, we definitely have systems that are at the end of their useful life. We're just keeping them together as best we can, but certainly we have some that will break down, and that causes us to do maintenance and repair, when, in fact, instead of doing maintenance and repair, it just makes sense to replace the entire system. So it's not necessarily the wisest investment when we do it like that."

McGoldrick says universities across the country are experiencing similar backlogs.

For UNR, the issue has been building for decades and is not just a result of the recession.