Your Tax Dollars Not at Work?

Fans coming to Husky Stadium last fall probably felt the UW was in pretty good financial shape. Huskies standing at the top rows of the stadium could see four construction cranes hovering over campus.

What the cranes couldn't explain was that state funds did not pay for three of the buildings and only contributed about 14 percent to the cost of the fourth structure.

It's been a joke around campus that the UW should put up signs at each site that read, "Your Tax Dollars Not at Work." While in the past private funds have sometimes paid for campus buildings such as Anderson or Guggenheim halls, this is the first time in recent memory when virtually none of the new campus construction was paid for with state funds.

An overview of the four buildings are:

William H. Gates Hall

new home of the UW School of Law, is a $75.8 million structure financed with rental income from the UW's Metropolitan Tract and $30 million in private donations-including a $12 million launch gift from Microsoft CEO Bill Gates to honor his father, William H. Gates, '49, '50, currently a UW regent.

UWMC Surgery Pavilion

is a $92 million, state-of-the-art day surgery center going up next to the Montlake Bridge on the east side of the UW Medical Center. Its construction costs are covered by bonds backed by patient fees.

IMA Addition

This $47.8 million addition to the student recreation center, the Intramural Activities Center, will expand workout rooms and student lounges and even includes an indoor climbing wall. The project is paid for through bonds backed by student activity fees.

Paul G. Allen Computer Science and Engineering Center

The second wing of the Computer Science and Engineering/Electrical Engineering complex includes about $10 million in state funds left over from building the first wing. The rest of the $72 million construction costs comes from private sources and institutional revenues, including $14 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

-Tom Griffin

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