The SAFE commission voted last night to allocate nearly all of its $3.4 million endowment to the creation of the Healy Student Space as part of its primary recommendation to GUSA’s Finance and Appropriations committee.
The commission also designated a “secondary” slate of projects to consider in the event that the Healy project proves unfeasible, with money potentially going towards a new student space in New South, the SIPS social entrepreneurship fund, and an omnibus grant for improvements to existing student spaces.
In total, the SAFE commission voted to recommend $3,230,000 be allocated towards the Healy Pub, with the remaining $170,000 going towards the construction of energy-saving solar panels on university townhouses.
Much of the debate prior to the commission vote centered on whether to reconsider several projects for inclusion in the final proposal, including a $400,000 request for renovations to the second floor of Lauinger Library and the $1.5 million request by the backers of the SIPS fund.
Several commissioners noted that the library proposal would have the most immediate effect on increasing student space. However, the commission ultimately voted to table the library’s request as a primary recommendation, over concerns that improvements to Lauinger should not be funded with student money.
“I think there’s been a very clear [consensus] that student space is the primary concern,” argued commissioner Kathleen McCullough (SFS ’12)
The commission ultimately voted unanimously to include both projects in its secondary recommendation, which would allocate $1.25 million to the SIPS fund and $200,000 for library space. Another $1.75 million would be allocated to help fund a New South Student Center, and $200,000 would be used as an omnibus fund for student space improvements.
If the recommendations are approved by the Finance and Appropriations committee, implementation of the proposals will fall to a “Working Group” set up to advise FinApp. The new group will conduct studies to determine the feasibility of the Healy and solar panel projects.
Should the projects prove ultimately unworkable, money will then be allocated to projects in the secondary slate of recommendations.