Beshear and bipartisan group of lawmakers endorse $363 million in university bonding

01/10/2013 10:33 AM

UPDATED WITH VIDEO Six Kentucky universities could sell bonds worth a total of $363 million to help pay for 11 building projects with the University of Kentucky making up the lion’s share for a new science building and renovations to the business college and Commonwealth Stadium.

That’s the plan announced Thursday by Gov. Steve Beshear, university presidents and legislative leaders. More than 30 other legislators, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, also showed up to the press conference in support of the proposal.

The legislature must sign off on any bonding debt taken on by the state’s public colleges and universities. The universities will cover the bond payments with specific revenue, such private donations and student room and board fees.

Beshear said no new fees will be implemented to cover these bonds.

In UK’s case, the athletics department revenue will pay for bond payments on a new football training facility and renovations to the football stadium that will include new seating and “lodge seating,” said UK President Eli Capilouto.

In addition, the athletics department will make the payments on $65 million worth of bonds on the $100 million proposed academic science building, Capilouto said.

The third project UK is in line to start upon passage of the bonding permission bill is $40 million in renovations to the Gatton College of Business. The university has been collecting private donations for that project.

Other projects include:
$9.2 million renovation to Morehead State’s Mignon residence hall
$9.9 million renovation to Murray State’s Hester College dorm
$590,000 sprinkler system upgrade at Murray State
$4.9 million in facility improvements at Murray State
$12 million in residence hall acquisition and renovation at Northern Kentucky University
$45 million for Albright Health Center renovations at NKU
$9.6 million for University of Louisville student activities center
$22 million for Western Kentucky University honors college and international center

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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