Local/Regional News
11:08 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Beshear, State Officials Pledge Support For Improvement Projects At UK, And Other State Schools

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Governor  Steve Beshear, flanked by university presidents, Republicans and Democrats, made the push to authorize $363 million dollars in agency bonds to fund 11 campus improvement projects at universities across the state Thursday morning in Frankfort.

Upgrades in excess of $100 M could be coming soon to the University of Kentucky's Commonwealth Stadium under a plan announced today by Governor Beshear and legislative leaders.
Credit UK Athletics

The bonds would be paid for by the universities without any help from the state. Governor Beshear urged the General Assembly to move forward with their approval.

"It's absolutely refreshing to begin a legislative session having already arrived at a consensus, a bipartisan consensus on such an important issue," Beshear said.

The projects at UK include an expanded Gatton College of Business, a $110 million upgrade for Commonwealth Stadium, and a new science building, which would receive most of its funding from athletics.

"We are taking one important step closer to doing something few if any athletics programs would even contemplate: funding the lion's share, $65 million dollars, of a $100 million dollar major academic and research facility," UK president Eli Capilouto told reporters.

UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart said the contribution is only an extension of the department’s ongoing support for academic programs.

"As you walk across campus, I want our players to feel like, 'Hey, we did something to help over there," and they can may of them will go to class in that building when it gets built..." he said.

Construction of the 263-thousand square foot science building is set to begin this year. Approval of the bonds must first pass the General Assembly.