Topeka Higher education officials on Wednesday announced allocating $7.7 million in federal stimulus funds for repair projects at universities, but noted that it represents a small fraction of the deferred maintenance backlog.
“This vital work both stimulates the local economy and improves the learning environment for students,” Reginald Robinson, president and chief executive officer of the regents, said of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars dedicated to higher education.
The regents allocated all of the available current-year federal funding to 16 projects, determined by officials to be critically needed.
That included $2,073,228 at Kansas University’s Lawrence campus for numerous improvements for fire code safety, roof repair and replacement, electrical service, access for those with disabilities, and heating and air-conditioning improvements at Dyche Hall.
KU Medical Center will receive $868,024 for elevator and roof repairs and infrastructure improvements.
The backlog of repair and renovation projects at state university campuses has grown to $825 million, according to the regents.
In 2007, the Legislature approved a five-year maintenance funding plan that would have addressed approximately 31 percent of the backlog, but that plan was cut by $1.3 million this year because of state budget problems.