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Archive for Friday, March 18, 1994

FIELDHOUSE UPGRADE WINS NOD OF REGENTS

March 18, 1994

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Fire safety and faculty salaries were two of the hot issues during Thursday's Board of Regents meeting in Topeka.

Topeka (ap) -- The state Board of Regents has approved final plans for a fire safety project at Kansas University's Allen Fieldhouse and an addition project and renovation at Farrell Library at Kansas State University.

The KU plan calls for spending $1.9 million to add a complete fire sprinkler system in the fieldhouse and add new stairways in the far upper four corners of the structure, home to KU basketball games.

The KSU project calls for spending $28 million for building new additions on three sides of Farrell Library at KSU, plus interior renovations and the razing of the old art building east of the library to make room for the expansion.

Warren Corman, regents facilities officer, said bid openings should be April 26 for the Farrell project and in early May for the field house project.

The regents also approved during their monthly meeting on Thursday:

  • Preliminary plans for finishing the interior of an addition to Parrott Athletic Center at KU.
  • Preliminary plans for the $25.7 million technology center at Pittsburg State University.
  • Increased funding for the student center addition and renovation at PSU, raising the cost of the project from $2 million to $2.5 million.
  • Approved eight new degrees, including a bachelor of science in systems engineering at KSU; a master's in accounting at PSU; and a master's of public health at Wichita State.

There was more gloom than optimism as the board discussed the status of its fiscal year 1995 budget in the Legislature.

The bill containing appropriations for the regents and the six universities the board administers was scheduled for debate this afternoon in the Senate.

The bill contained money for the regents' Partnership for Excellence, a three-year program of faculty salary enhancement designed to narrow the wage gap between Kansas professors and those at peer institutions in other states.

Gov. Joan Finney has said the Partnership was a package deal with a bill admitting Washburn University of Topeka to the regents' system. The Senate killed that bill, throwing the Partnership funding into jeopardy.

Steve Jordan, regents' executive director, reported on the status of the appropriations bill, and warned the regents that Finney may use her line-item veto power to strike some or all of the Partnership money from the measure if it passes both the Senate and House.

The regents also discussed the possibility that the Washburn issue might be revived, but few in the Legislature expect that to happen.

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