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Renovation, not construction, tops Fairleigh Dickinson's bond wish list

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While the state's research institutions figure out ways to use the bulk of the $750 million in Building Our Future bond funds authorized last fall, one private school is looking at the capital availability differently.

Hania Ferrara, vice president for finance and treasurer of Fairleigh Dickinson University, said the school is not starting any new construction, but renovating existing academic buildings and adding new equipment.

"It would specifically be classrooms and laboratories, and necessary equipment" across several buildings, Ferrara said. She added that the renovations will attract new science, technology, engineering and math students, as well as upgrade the spaces for current stations.

Ferrara said that the private schools expect just $52.5 million of the bond funds to be distributed to them, so ambitious new building projects would require more resources than updating the buildings that already exist on FDU's campuses in Madison and Teaneck.

"We applied in total for about $11 million of projects in that particular bond issue, and that includes our match," Ferrara said. She added that the breakdown would be a little more than $8 million in state funds and nearly $3 million in matching funds.

"Our match is coming from our internal operating resources, so we're not expecting to borrow the funds for the match," Ferrara said. "We have that available already."

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