Tuesday, March 5, 2002 | 10:34 a.m.
The Greenspun family, which publishes the Las Vegas Sun, has pledged up to $12 million to help fund a new building at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The donation, which will be one of the five largest single contributions to the university, will go toward a 70,000-square-foot facility that will house two schools and three academic departments under UNLV's Greenspun College of Urban Affairs.
"This extraordinary pledge would provide significant assistance to the state in the construction of this high priority building," UNLV President Carol Harter said.
The gift would pay 40 percent of the overall costs for planning and building the proposed Greenspun Hall, which are estimated at $23.4 million. Preliminary estimates bring the gift to $9.4 million, which could rise to $12 million, depending on construction costs.
Legislative funding is still needed to pay the balance of the project. In light of a recent request by Gov. Kenny Guinn for state-funded institutions to keep budgets flat, university officials said legislative funding remains an uncertainty.
"We believe that because of this school and vision and frankly the promise of this building, which has been around for the past 12 years, it would be appropriate for them to try and approve it," Sun President and Editor Brian Greenspun said.
The size of the Greenspuns' gift should move the project up on the list of legislative priorities in 2003, UNLV spokesman Tom Flagg said.
The Greenspun family is a longtime patron of UNLV, and Sun Publisher Barbara Greenspun is on the UNLV Foundation board.
"My husband Hank (Greenspun) and I have always been deeply committed to education," Barbara Greenspun said. "When we started the Hank Greenspun School of Communications, and then expanded our commitment with the opening of the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, it was only a matter of time before the various pieces of the college needed a place to come together.
"We believe the Board of Regents, as well as the governor and the Legislature, will see the importance of bringing the College into one significant building so that its creation provides not only a basis for teaching the coming generations but for the continued outreach of its programs, which are so vital to our community."
Hank Greenspun, who founded the Sun, died in 1989.
The new facility would put under one roof the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs' School of Social Work and the Hank Greenspun School of Communications. The donation also will allow the departments of criminal justice, public administration and environmental studies to be housed in a single facility.