Kentucky university construction projects would total $363 milli - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky university construction projects would total $363 million

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and legislative leaders announced today a plan that would authorize $363 million of construction projects at six state universities.  The University of Kentucky says part of the money to build an academic building would come from athletic revenues -- a first for the state.

The projects would be funded by bonds issued by the individual universities.  Gov. Beshear pointed out that no money from the state's General Fund would be used.  The University of Kentucky says it will use money from athletics to pay for a $100 million Academic Science Building.  It will also pursue private fund-raising.

UK President Eli Capilouto said, "For the University of Kentucky, authorization to self-finance three facilities on our campus will improve our ability to educate tomorrow's leaders today. It will expand our capacity to conduct research that broadens scientific understanding, creates new scholarship, and extends and enhances life." 

At a time when we are pushing our students to pursue higher education," Beshear said in a news release, "it's imperative that they have adequate classrooms, housing and facilities, and the issuance of these bonds will accelerate those projects to meet those needs quickly."

Both Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Republican Senate President Robert Stivers say they expect the legislature to approve the proposal.

This effort comes as money from the General Fund supporting the universities has been cut 15 percent over the past three budgets, each of which allots money for two years.

The proposed projects including updating student housing and improving classroom spaces. 

"These 11 projects represent critical needs across our campuses," said WKU President Gary A. Ransdell.    

Details on the projects from Gov. Beshear's office:

  • Morehead State University
    • Mignon Hall (residence hall) renovation, $9.2 million


  • Murray State University
    • Hester College dormitory renovation, $9.9 million
    • College Courts housing sprinkler system upgrade, $590,000
    • Capitol renewal projects (assorted facility improvements), $4.9 million


  • Northern Kentucky University
    • Residence hall acquisition and renovation, $12 million
    • Albright Health Center renovation, $45 million


  • University of Kentucky
    • Gatton College of Business and Economics renovation, $40 million (plus $25 million in cash raised by UK through private philanthropy)
    • Commonwealth Stadium renovation, $110 million
    • Academic Science Building construction, $100 million ($65 million of which will be supported by athletics revenue)


  • University of Louisville
    • Student Activities Center renovation, $9.6 million


  • Western Kentucky University
    • Honors College and International Center construction, $22 million

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