KU officials put together a capital improvement request totaling $143 million.
The landscape at Kansas University would be dramatically transformed under a construction plan sketched for the state Board of Regents.
"It's kind of a wish list," said Warren Corman, regents' director of facilities. "We don't have the money."
Of course, KU's $143 million compendium of building ideas includes a new Hoch Auditorium and expansion of Dyche Hall, which houses the Museum of Natural History.
Work at Hoch and Dyche will be done, since both projects have been funded.
Here are the three most expensive unfunded building projects on KU's long-term priority list:
- $40 million for a science laboratory. It would connect to Malott Hall and serve chemistry, physics, astronomy and biology.
- $16.5 million for a new Museum of Natural History. The idea is to build it near Dyche.
- $14 million for renovation of the vacant Pearson Residence Hall on West Campus Road.
Corman said the regents can't afford all the projects requested by KU and the five other state universities. Over the next five years, university requests for tax-funded building projects total $225 million.
Income from the Educational Building Fund, the primary source of state financing for campus projects, will provide only $90 million over five years.
"Our plan is to put together a brochure ... that shows the real needs that we have. If we can show the need, perhaps there is a way to raise extra funds," he said.
An idea floated by legislators would involve doubling collections through the EBF, which is currently supported by a 1 mill statewide property tax. A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of assessed valuation.
"Maybe with that we can knock off the top one or two priorities at each school," Corman said.
The regents will discuss the issue at Thursday's board meeting in Topeka.
At KU, the capital improvement request also included a $10.9 million Murphy Hall addition, a $14.7 million electrical distribution system, a $5.7 million library warehouse, a $7.3 million Bailey Hall renovation and a $4 million Twente Hall renovation.