September 21-23, 2005

 

ITEM 128-2004-R0905                Authorization to Construct a New Research Facility; Montana State University-Bozeman

 

THAT:                                       In accordance with the provisions of MCA 18-2-102(c), the Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes MSU-Bozeman to construct a new research facility.  The estimated cost for this project is $2,500,000.

 

EXPLANATION:                        1.      The research programs of the Veterinary Molecular Biology Department (VMB) have grown ten-fold in grant and contract expenditures since 1996. Further growth is virtually guaranteed because the Department is: a) investigating a timely and increasingly important field, namely infectious diseases that can be transmitted among wildlife, livestock and humans; b) carving out a unique and important scientific niche; and c) taking advantage of its location in Montana where many of the diseases exist in wildlife populations. In order for VMB to meet current research grant commitments, additional space to accommodate specific bio-safety level laboratories and experimental animal containment is essential.

 

2.      The VMB mission includes conducting research on infectious diseases and providing instruction in animal biotechnology and the pre-veterinary science program.  The focus of research at VMB is on zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that can be transmitted between man, livestock and wildlife.  For example, VMB currently is engaged in a large research effort on brucellosis, a zoonotic disease of both economic and bio-terrorist concern.   For the foreseeable future initiatives such as these are likely to be subjects of special interest and focus for significant federal research funds.

 

3.      This project will construct a new bio-safety research lab facility to accommodate the research activities required to meet existing research grant requirements.

 

4.      This Item provides MSU the authorization to proceed with the design and construction of the new research facility. However, construction will not proceed until satisfactory funding, with cash, bond sale proceeds, and/or another form of debt instrument has been secured. MSU will secure Board of Regents approval of its final financing plan at a future meeting.

 

5.      This project will be financed with non-state, Facilities and Administrative (F&A) funds recovered from externally funded grants and contracts, as well as non-state funds from VMB endowments. Non-state funds will be used for operations or maintenance of this facility and no new programs will be created.

 

6.      This project requires the approval of the Board of Regents and the consent of the Governor.