- Campus funding still not a fix-all (06-08-07)
- Board of Regents changes expected (06-04-07)
- University repairs planned now that funds approved (05-06-07)
- Deferred maintenance plan clears House (05-06-07)
- Senate's repair plan rejected by House (04-28-07)
- No solution in sight to fund deferred maintenance (04-21-07)
- Senate has $525M plan for universities (04-20-07)
- House announces plan to fund repairs (04-19-07)
Topeka The Kansas Board of Regents has approved a five-year, $134.4 million plan to make repairs at state universities.
But higher education officials say that still isn't enough so they will ask for an additional $56.4 million when the Legislature meets next year.
Lawmakers recently approved a plan to boost funding for what is called deferred maintenance.
"The plan that was approved by the Legislature was a start," said Kip Peterson, a spokesman for the Kansas Board of Regents.
"It allows the campuses to move forward on their five-year projects, but if that is the only thing that happens the backlog will continue to increase, and at the end of five years it will be bigger than it is today," he said.
Some legislative leaders agree, calling their effort this year a "down payment."
"In the coming years, we must remain committed to protecting our state university infrastructure - an invaluable asset to the citizens of Kansas," said Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton.
The six regents institutions, including Kansas University, said they needed $663 million to take care of repairs that had accumulated through a combination of lack of funding and the aging of facilities.
What lawmakers approved was a package that provides approximately $380 million in extra funding, tax breaks and loans to make repairs at state universities, community colleges and technical schools.
The measure included $90 million over five years in new state appropriations to the six state regents institutions, and it also requires universities devote the interest earned on tuition to repair projects. Over five years that should generate $44.4 million.
That totals $134.4 million.
In compliance with the new funding plan, the regents approved a five-year list of priority projects. The list will be reviewed in July by lawmakers.
Over the five-year period, KU plans on spending approximately $33 million at the Lawrence campus and $11.7 million at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.
Regent James Grier III of Wichita said the project list will have to be flexible in case universities need to change priorities or move funds around to better implement their projects.