Revised plans for funding the new Donald M. Bren Events Center on the campus of UC Irvine are beginning to sound like a case of high-level creative financing. Or robbing Professor Peter to pay Professor Paul.
Bren, chairman of the Irvine Co., donated $1 million of his own money and $500,000 from his company for the 6,000-seat facility, initially estimated to cost $11.5 million. The UC Board of Regents approved construction of the center based on that cost, with $7.7 million coming from revenue bonds paid by income from student fees and the remaining $3.8 million from private donations.
Now, university officials say, the center will cost $15 million, because of rising construction costs due to a three-year time lag between the fund drive and the actual building. In addition, the university is $300,000 more in the hole because the new student fee to help pay for construction will begin three months later than expected.
Nothing to fear, says UCI Chancellor Jack W. Peltason. The shortfall--all but $500,000 of it--will come out of the deep pockets of patrons of the center, in the form of season seating premiums and increased ticket prices, and by diverting financing from another campus building and projected increases in student enrollment.