A $4 million appropriation for planning a new Physics and Nanotechnology Building at the University of Minnesota received final approval from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty during the 2010 Legislative Session. The governor signed HF2700, the omnibus bonding bill, after removing $319 million from the bill with line-item vetoes. In the Governor’s letter listing his line-item vetoes, he expressed his disappointment that the bill from the Legislature did not include full funding of the Physics and Nanotechnology Building as he had recommended.

The University of Minnesota had originally requested $53.3 million in state funds from the 2010 Legislature to help build an $80 million physics and nanotechnology building. The five-story, 155,000-square-foot proposed facility would include a 5,000-square-foot "clean room" dedicated to nanotechnology research, 40 new research laboratories and student meeting space. The $4 million should help complete the planning and the request for construction funds will likely appear on the University’s 2012 bonding request.

In addition to the planning money for the Physics and Nanotechnology Building, other University of Minnesota projects approved during the 2010 Legislative Session include a $56 million appropriation to address infrastructure, safety, and accessibility needs to care for existing buildings throughout the University of Minnesota; $23 million to renovate Folwell Hall; and $6.7 million to restore, refurbish, and modernize individual research laboratories.

Governor Pawlenty vetoed two University of Minnesota projects: the American Indian Learning Resource Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories.

Preliminary sketch by Architectural Alliance and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects