Construction funded by state, fees

With the Board of Regents approving $30 million dollars worth of renovations and construction at SHSU, the question of from where the money is coming is raised.John McCroskey of the Physical Plant said funding for the different projects came from a variety of different sources. The projects are all in various different stages of completion, with each stage one needing to be checked by the Board of Regents.”We go the board four times for every project,” said McCroskey.The majority of the projects are being funded by the state, with a few being paid through student fees.The renovation of the Farrington Science Building, whose $18 million uses the largest amount of the funds approval, is being funded by the Tuition Revenue Bond Proceeds, which are provided by the state legislature.The new baseball/softball facility to be located near Bowers Stadium will cost $4 million to create, with funds being provided by the Texas State University System bonds.The $1.25 million to create additions for the Teacher Education Center and $800,000 for renovating the Newton Gresham Library both will come from the Higher Education System Fund.An amendment to the Texas Constitution in 1984 created the HESF. According to Article VII, Section 17, institutions of higher learning can acquire land; construct, repair and rehabilitate buildings with the HESF.The remainder of the renovations, construction and other campus improvement projects are being funded through student fees.The $1.2 million needed to renovate the eight residence halls on Sorority Hill will be paid for through the Student Housing Fund Balance.Also to be paid with the SHFB will be the renovation of the Jackson Shaver Hall dormitory, which will cost $2 million.The Dining Operation Fund Balance is funding the South Campus Dining Facility, which will cost $2 million to construct.The construction of new signs for the campus will cost about $500,000, and will be paid for with the General Use Fee Fund Balance.SHSU Public Relations officer Frank Krystyniak said the money to fund the last four projects will be paid without having to increase student fees, but fee increases are always possible in the future.”There a possibility fees could go up, but not for these,” said Krystyniak. “There’s always a possibility fees can go up as costs go up or as other needs arise.”Krystyniak said the need for student fees to pay for some of the campus improvement projects comes from a drop in financial support from the state over the past few years.”The percentage of state support has gone down through the years,” said Krystyniak. “The university has had to increase fees over the years to pay for such projects.”The drop in state support resulted from a change in state policy over who should provide funds for individual schools.”When the state was providing more support, most of the money was coming from tax payers,” said Krystyniak. “The philosophy became a political question as to who would pays the costs.”While some of the funding for school projects comes from state bonds, grants and funds, students attending SHSU must now contribute a higher percentage of the amount of funds.Krystyniak said the university made plans ahead of time to make sure the costs for the university improvement projects were within the school’s budget and that fees would not have to be increased to pay for the projects.”We plan our projects out so that we won’t have top increase fees,” said Krystyniak. “It would not be good fiscal policy to plan a project you weren’t sure you could pay for.”

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