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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– Building and maintenance budgets of $139 million for the year beginning July 1, 1998 were approved Friday by the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.

 Approval was based on an understanding that the trustees would have an opportunity to take another look at a proposed agricultural biotechnology facility in the capital outlay budget.

 The project was previously approved by the board with construction costs evenly split between state and federal government.

 “We expected $13 million in federal funds,” said UT President Joe Johnson, “but we have in hand only about $5 million, with no more expected. That federal program is gone.”

 Estimated cost of the project is $23 million.

 The $127.6 million capital outlay budget, $127.6 million, and the maintenance budget, $11.3 million, now go to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, which makes recommendations to the governor and the legislature. In other action, the board:

 — Approved creation of a master of physical therapy program at UT-Memphis to take the place of the current bachelor’s degree program.

 — Approved consolidation at UT-Memphis of a master in orthodontics program and a master in pediatric dentistry to create a master of dental science program.

— Okayed the consolidation of three departments at UT- Martin into two, creating a department of accounting, management, and information systems and a department of international business, finance, economics, and marketing.

 Capital outlay projects approved by the board included the following:

 — Alumni Memorial renovation at UT-Knoxville to convert existing auditorium/gymnasia and locker rooms to office, laboratory and classroom space, $10,325,000.

 — Hesler Biology renovation at UT-Knoxville to update portions of the building constructed in 1936 and another portion built in 1963, $19,441,000.

 — Brehm Hall improvements at UT-Martin to update the building constructed in 1951 to better meet the needs of the departments of agriculture and biology, $6,928,000.

 — Biotechnology research facilities, second phase, the UT Institute of Agriculture, Knoxville, to create research and office space in the plant sciences, $23,064,000.

The board also approved capital maintenance projects. Top priorities are:

— Hyman Building air conditioning chiller replacement, UT-Memphis, $740,000.

 — Stokely Management Center chiller replacement, UT-Knoxville, $1,305,000.

 — York & Ridley 4-H Camp improvements, UT Institute of Agriculture, $895,000.

 — Building system improvements at UT Space Institute, Tullahoma, Tenn., $930,000.


 Contact: Eli Fly (423-974-2243)