Kirwan urges lawmakers' approval on UM arena University president asks $4.5 million for its design

January 21, 1998|By Jon Morgan

University of Maryland President William E. Kirwan urged lawmakers yesterday to approve $4.5 million for the design of a new basketball arena, but said he has not finalized a proposal for paying for the rest of the project -- which may call for $60 million in state money.

Kirwan, who will depart later this year for the presidency of Ohio State University, said Maryland's arena cannot be economically renovated and must be replaced, probably at a cost of $100 million.

Campus officials are still exploring various options for paying for the work, and said they hope to include private donations, non-academic school funds, and state aid. A recommendation on how to apportion the costs could be completed this spring, Kirwan said at a hearing before the House Appropriations Committee in Annapolis.

"I'm not prepared to tell you today what we're asking you for," Kirwan told the lawmakers.

He said the school is aggressively seeking private donors, perhaps one who would make a significant contribution in exchange for having his or her family name on the arena -- something that has been done at other colleges.

He says the university could probably come up with about $45 million through private donations and athletic department funds. He said he opposes significant increases in the facility fee paid by students, or taking funds away from planned construction of new chemistry and engineering buildings.

Pub Date: 1/21/98

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