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The start of this year's General Assembly session looked much different from the finish - thankfully, for Old Dominion, which ended up getting $13 million in capital funding for a new engineering and computational sciences building.

In a Jan. 4 letter to the campus community, President James V. Koch had said, "Gov. Gilmore recommended several attractive items for Old Dominion in his proposed budget, but did not choose to include the engineering/computational sciences building or any of our other major initiatives. That means our work is cut out for us during the forthcoming
session . . ."

That work, which involved making a case for the building and other initiatives with legislators and the media and enlisting the help of Old Dominion's alumni legislative network, paid off.

In his latest "Dear Colleagues" letter, dated March 14, Koch thanked the many state legislators who supported the university's initiatives, saying, "They chose to make Old Dominion University, and particularly our engineering and computational sciences building, a priority, and we are extremely grateful."

He went on to urge employees to thank their legislators by letter or phone. The $13 million in general funds will support construction of the new facility.

The president said that the $6 million needed to equip the building will be addressed in a future legislative session. Construction could start as early as next January. University planners are currently examining site options for the building.

Also included for Old Dominion under the operating budget heading from this year's session were:
*a 3.25 percent salary increase for classified staff and 3 percent increase for faculty;

*$450,000 annually for TEACHTECH, a program that provides current and future teachers with advanced technology training;

*$300,000 annually in additional support for the new Loudoun County Center;

*$350,000 annually for technology support; and

*$194,510 annually of additional need-based financial aid for in-state undergraduate students.

Also, already included in the governor's budget were the following one-time only allocations:

*$2.9 million to help the university comply with federal and state regulations;

*$914,000 for equipment for Constant Hall;

*$2.95 million for the Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund for Old Dominion; and

*$1.475 million for the maintenance and repair of buildings.

In his letter, Koch pointed out that the General Assembly did mandate a tuition increase for nonresident and graduate students in order to pay for these items.

This article was posted on: March 16, 2000

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.