JMU Projects Included in Governor Kaine's Proposal

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA — Several new construction projects on the campus of James Madison University have been included in Governor Tim Kaine's $1.65 billion higher education bond package.

Governor Kaine's proposal designates more than $96 million for JMU projects. Among the projects included in the proposal are the construction of a new biotechnology building ($44.8 million) and the renovation and expansion of Duke Hall ($43.4 million). The proposal also includes $8.6 million as the final installment payment for Rockingham Memorial Hospital.

JMU President Dr. Linwood H. Rose was encouraged by the inclusion of the JMU projects in the governor's proposal, "We are obviously pleased that Governor Kaine is introducing a bond package for higher education capital needs. The biotech facility - Centennial Hall - will permit us to continue the advances our faculty have made in scientific research. The renovation and addition to Duke Hall (art and art history) will enable us to complete our vision for the visual and performing arts.

"While I am sure our faculty and students will be excited about today's announcement, we must remember that it is the first of three steps. The package will now need approval by the General Assembly and by the voters next November. I am confident that Virginia's voters will pass a higher education bond bill by a significant margin just as they did in 2002," Dr. Rose concluded.

The proposed biotechnology building ($44.8 million) is expected to be a key component of the "science corridor" on the east side of campus. The building will be the focus of much of JMU's life sciences instruction and research. Dr. Jerry Benson, vice provost for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said the new building would help solidify JMU's role as a leader in undergraduate research. He also noted that the new facility would be a great complement to the partnership between SRI International, JMU and other Virginia institutions of higher education.

The renovation and expansion of Duke Hall ($43.4 million) would further be evidence of JMU's commitment to the arts. Originally constructed in 1967, Duke Hall has been home to Latimer-Shaeffer Theatre, the Sawhill Gallery and the School of Art and Art History. As the Performing Arts Center comes online as expected in 2010, space in Duke Hall that was previously devoted to performing arts would be transformed into space dedicated to the visual and fine arts.

The governor's higher education bond proposals must be approved by the General Assembly and by voters in a general referendum in November 2008.

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Published: Thursday, December 13, 2007

Last Updated: Friday, November 6, 2020

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