Universities voice support for capital money plan

Tim Goral's picture

As they present their annual request for capital spending, leaders of Mississippi’s eight public universities say they’re pleased with the Legislature’s pledge to borrow $100 million a year to cover the schools’ needs.

The College Board adopted the plan at its meeting last week. Each institution adopted 10 top priorities, an amount totaling $634.4 million across the system. Top priorities range from another $30.5 million to pay for the new medical school building at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson to $300,000 to upgrade sprinklers at the Cedar Brook Apartments at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds said the board knows lawmakers won’t contribute the amount needed to cover the total request.

However, he said the future map for capital spending laid out in the 2013 bond bill is enough to sustain the universities.

“We are happy with $100 million,” Bounds said in an interview last week. “We probably need it to be $130 million or so per year, but we recognize the state has other needs.”

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