State agencies seek $1.4B in construction projects | NevadaAppeal.com

State agencies seek $1.4B in construction projects

Nevada’s Public Works Board was presented Tuesday with a list of 110 construction and maintenance projects totaling nearly $1.44 billion.

At the same time, Director of Administration Andrew Clinger told the board that the state will have only $167 million in bonding capacity not already committed elsewhere and $270 million in surplus cash available to cover those needs.

Since the surplus must cover other needs as well, he estimated about $100 million would be available for capital construction projects.

The bottom line: Less than $300 million is available to cover $1.44 billion in construction requests.

The board is meeting this week to prioritize the list of projects the state must build in the coming two-year budget cycle and cut it back to fit the cash available.

More than two-thirds of the total requested is in just two areas: Higher education and corrections.

The university system has asked a total of $502 million for 39 projects. All but $49 million of that total would come from the state.

The first eight priorities on that list are to complete projects already in progress. One is $21 million to furnish and equip the University of Nevada, Las Vegas science and engineering technology building. Others include $19 million to equip the University of Nevada, Reno’s new library and another $11.4 million to do the same at UNR’s math and science center.

The largest new projects are $66 million for a nursing and science building at Nevada State College in Henderson, $46 million for the student learning center and classroom building on that same campus and $49 million for a center for higher education in Spanish Springs north of Reno.

Great Basin College, citing the huge growth and demand in Nye County north of Las Vegas, has asked $23.7 million to build a new campus in Pahrump.

The Department of Corrections has requested $539 million for 41 projects – all state money. That list includes $112 million to add nearly 700 cells at three existing prisons to handle the rapidly growing inmate population. Another $51.7 million would add 336 cells at High Desert State Prison and $55.3 million would build added space at the Indian Springs Correctional Center. It would cost $60.7 million to build a 100-bed transitional center and 300 prison beds at the women’s prison in North Las Vegas.

Corrections has proposed two new conservation campus: A 384-bed camp at Stewart in South Carson City for $62.9 million and a $192 bed camp for $37.1 million at Jean in the south.

The Department of Human Services is seeking $37.8 million for a 50-bed forensic treatment center for juvenile offenders and $73.2 million for a complete demolition, master plan and construction of a new child and adolescent services campus in Reno.

The list includes projects for several other state departments including Public Safety, which has requested $59.9 million for a new parole and probation building in Las Vegas.

The Public Works Board will forward its recommendations to the governor and the budget office which will make the final decision on which projects to send to the 2007 Legislature.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.