Topeka Kansas University on Friday gave back $4.5 million to the state government, which immediately applied it to the Capitol restoration project.
The State Finance Council, chaired by Gov. Sam Brownback, approved the transfer.
Brownback quipped that KU's only requirement was that "we paint the Indian (statue) on top of the Capitol red and blue."
The money came from bond proceeds for the recently-completed KU pharmacy building on west campus. The pharmacy building was completed $4.5 million under budget because of lower than expected construction costs caused by the recession, officials said.
Rebecca Floyd, executive vice president of the Kansas Development Finance Authority, said the transfer of $4.5 million will reduce a bond issue for the Capitol restoration project by the same amount.
"This will result in significant economic savings to the state of Kansas and taxpayers," she said.
The long-running restoration of the Statehouse is currently projected to cost about $285 million.
Legislative veterans on the Finance Council congratulated KU on finishing the pharmacy building under budget. "This doesn't happen very often," said Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton.