Student Council hears update on planned Alderman renovations

Representative body debates summer budget

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Student Council's 2017 summer budget is increasing by about $4,000 more than its 2016 summer budget.

Maya Lezzam | Cavalier Daily

Student Council members heard from John Unsworth, University librarian and dean of libraries, on planned renovations to Alderman Library at their weekly Tuesday meeting. In addition, Student Council discussed voting on a new budget for the summer session.

Unsworth said there are major renovations to the library in the coming years and the project could take up to 10 years to complete. He said much of the building, including old stacks, would likely be demolished completely, forcing the building — or portions of it — to be closed for some time.

Though the project has been discussed previously, it is now officially underway according to Unsworth, who said funds have been appropriated for it.

The renovations are “overdue,” Unsworth said. He cited constant fire alarms and plumbing problems as among the issues which led to the commencement of the project.

“That building has a lot of character,” he said. “It’s a good time to do this.”

He also acknowledged potential issues for students, given the second level of Clemons Library is already under construction and inaccessible to those looking for a study space. However, he said the two projects wouldn’t overlap.

“[The second floor of Clemons] will come back online before this study space is disrupted in Alderman,” Unsworth said. “There’s going to be a lot of study space on Clemons Two.”

He also briefly said although the timeline for the project is not yet finalized, current third- and fourth-year students will likely see very little construction on Alderman, while first- and second-years might see more renovations in progress before they graduate.

“There will probably be a couple generations of students who go through here without an intact Alderman Library,” he said.

After hearing from Unsworth, the Council members considered a number of bills, including the official summer budget as recommended by the organization’s Chief Financial Officer, Michael Horth, a second-year Commerce student.

The budget’s expenses totalled over $29,000, accounting for spending on the Presidential Cabinet Committee, Administrative Committee and the Executive Board.

“I cut down a few things that I thought were excessive,” Horth said as he introduced SB17-29, the bill containing the updated budget. “I am in support of everything that’s on the budget now.”

However, the planned summer budget demonstrated an increase in spending of more than $4,000 from the 2016 summer budget, which totaled $25,005.

That increase was spread fairly evenly between Student Activity Fee funds and non-SAF funds, with approximately $2,000 and $2,300 more in spending in each category, respectively.

SAF funding is money from the University allocated to student organizations, while non-SAF funding is money the organization brings in from hosting events and fundraisers.

SB17-29 was eventually tabled for further consideration. Student Council will meet again Monday, April 17 to discuss the budget in further depth and hold a vote on the bill.

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