The School's cash from operations increased in fiscal 2011 by $1 million from the prior year to $53 million. As in fiscal 2010, this strong result was driven primarily by increased margin contributions from Executive Education and Publishing, as well as the HBS community's generous giving to the School. In addition, use of restricted current use gifts, as well as cash from prior years' endowment gifts or appreciation, contributed $18 million to the School's cash flow in fiscal 2011, compared with $13 million in fiscal 2010. As a result, cash before capital activities increased by $6 million, or 9 percent, to $71 million, from $65 million in fiscal 2010.
In accordance with the School's long-term campus plan, the last phase of significant capital investment at HBS concluded several years ago. Capital spending, net of gifts used for capital projects, has generally declined since then, falling in fiscal 2010 to an expected low point for the foreseeable future of $11 million. In fiscal 2011, the School's net capital expenses increased to $31 million.
This growth reflected a $16 million investment in renovating the 125 Western Avenue building that will house the Harvard Innovation Lab and additional classroom space. The increase also reflected investments in opportunistic projects focused on the renewal and maintenance of buildings, infrastructure, and I.T. systems across the campus.
The School's new borrowings, which have totaled just $3 million over the past three years, dropped to zero in fiscal 2010 and remained at zero in fiscal 2011. Debt principal payments for fiscal 2011 increased by $2 million in prepayments to $9 million, from $7 million in fiscal 2010. Other non-reserve activity in fiscal 2011 increased from the prior year by $7 million to $51 million. This amount primarily reflected, for the second consecutive year, the transfer of $50 million to the School's endowment reserve. This reserve was established several years ago with the goal of realizing long-term investment returns.
As a result of this transfer, plus investment returns for the year, HBS concluded fiscal 2011 with an endowment reserve balance of $228 million, up from $149 million a year earlier. Together with the School's debt principal payments in fiscal 2011, the transfer to the endowment reserve resulted in a $9 million decline in Net Debt and Other category for the year.
HBS relies on unrestricted reserves to finance major campus expansion projects and capitalize on unforeseen strategic opportunities, along with a mix of internally generated cash, gifts, and debt. More than 50 percent of the School's revenues come from business units that are highly sensitive to the economy. Consequently, maintaining an ample balance of unrestricted reserves outside of the endowment is crucial in providing HBS with the liquidity necessary to ensure the consistent execution of its mission through economic cycles over the long term.
Reflecting the School's continued healthy cash from operations, fiscal 2011 was a successful year in this regard. After the aforementioned transfer of $50 million to the endowment reserve, the School's unrestricted reserves declined by only $20 million from fiscal 2010, and HBS concluded fiscal 2011 with a strong year-end unrestricted reserves balance of $79 million.