College funding spiked; maintenance deferred

Monday, October 21, 2013

Southern University in Baton Rouge will get some of its hot water lines replaced but will have to wait on repairs to the nursing school auditorium that’s prone to flooding after heavy rains.

That’s the way it goes when it comes to the state’s construction funding program, known as capital outlay — too many projects, not enough money.

Earlier this year, the Legislature inserted $76 million into the state’s construction budget to help colleges and universities address persistent maintenance issues on Louisiana campuses, from moldy buildings to faulty sewer systems.

It was an attempt to put a dent in the estimated $1.8 billion deferred maintenance backlog that has become a safety risk as fire detection systems grow older, sidewalks crumble and schools try to keep up with federal requirements to become fully handicap-accessible.

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