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

01/10/2013 11:33 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 has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or


  • viewer wrote on January 10, 2013 12:19 PM :

    Just remember the Yums Center, Ky Horse Park and all the court houses across Ky folks. Same group, same lines being showed. Just a new form of revenue to get. The student loan bubble will burst within the next two years across the country. They better get it now or it wont be there.

  • viewer wrote on January 10, 2013 01:20 PM :

    Youtube Pink Floyd’s – Welcome to the machine. Enjoy and thanks for being informed.

  • Hutch wrote on January 10, 2013 03:04 PM :

    Tax and spend republicans. Does Stivers not read the papers or watch tv? So instead of tackling pensions or tax reform he is going to ok borrowing one half a billion dollars to build a football stadium for a losing team??

  • Hutch wrote on January 10, 2013 03:12 PM :

    Oh dear God, I just researched and saw where Stivers and dumbo are both from eastern Kentucky. That means deals have been cut with construction companies and engineering firms who pay for their food, travel, hire their mistresses, and pay for their reelections! Geez I thought getting rid of richie farmer would change things but our great general assembly just elected complete leadership from the mountains! Corrupt corrupt corrupt!

    Maybe a tornado will go through and they can let those construction companies change orders and we will borrow another $100,000,000! We need new leadership regardless of political party

  • Chris Tobe wrote on January 10, 2013 07:12 PM :

    WKU, EKU, Morehead, Murray all have their non teacher employees in KERS which is 27% funded. Teaching employees are in KTRS which is 50% funded. The new accounting rules will make them show this liability probably in the hundreds of millions for the first time next year, that is why they need to issue bonds now, before they have to disclose this liability.

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