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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