Letter to College Community:
On January 11, several College faculty and staff met with members of the UW Capital Projects and Capital and Space Planning Offices to discuss our current understanding regarding plans for rebuilding Merrill Hall. The following six points were discussed and agreed to:
1. The state legislature and university allocated $4.1 million to rebuild Merrill Hall. The architect's current estimate to rebuild Merrill is $5.4 million.
2. The College agreed to re-examine cost cutting efforts to reduce the rebuild estimate by $0.2 - 0.4 million. Director Hinckley is responsible for gathering the requisite cost cutting items for the architects to consider.
3. The university will stand by its pledge to rebuild Merrill Hall.
4. The College will work with donors to determine if they will help us purchase the needed furniture, fixtures and equipment for Merrill Hall. In addition, we will work with our donors to secure additional funds to increase the size of the Miller Library, to construct an improved entry-lobby, to landscape the grounds, and to construct an environmental forum.
5. We are confident that, given the university's commitment to rebuild Merrill Hall, we will be able to raise the needed funds from our many friends and supporters of the center and the college.
6. Per our Project Agreement, donor-funded enhancements need to be capable of being constructed as bid alternates (additions to the core project), rather than as part of the core replacement project.
With agreement on these points, I am confident that we can now move forward with our united vision for the CUH.
By way of implementation, Director Hinckley will be sending me a recommendation pursuant to item #2 so that I may relay it to the UW administration. He is working with center staff and faculty, divisional chair Manuwal and other interested people in the College to determine the best way we can meet the intent of item #2. Ms Linda Kaye is working with our donors and CUH personnel to realize the intent of items #4 and 5.
Of critical importance to all of us in the College, as well as in the CUH donor community, is item #3. Although a specific dollar amount has not yet been finalized, we are extremely pleased that the university has affirmed its commitment to rebuild Merrill Hall. Now, our task is to move forward with renewed vigor and commitment to not only rebuild Merrill Hall but to raise the private funds needed to increase the size of the Miller Library, to build the environmental forum, to construct an improved entry lobby, to properly landscape the grounds and to purchase the furniture and equipment needed to complete the facility.
The past eight months have been difficult and trying times for everyone associated with CUH. And, there will be additional bumps in the road yet travelled. Nevertheless, we will remain steadfast in our resolve to rebuild, improve and broaden the center's role. We intend to fulfill our vision to make the center a premier facility with world class programs. With your help I know we will be successful. Thank you and best wishes.