Board of Regents approves Six-Year Capital Plan

Jessica Voorhees

The Board of Regents approved the WKU Six-Year Capital Plan on Friday. 

The plan includes 41 proposed facilities projects, which will cost over $420 million total to complete. 

The projects concern construction, maintenance and renovation of facilities on campus, budgeted separately from the university’s operating budget. 

Bryan Russell, chief facilities officer, said the plan will be submitted for state funding.

“The Six-Year Capital Plan is a needs-assessment of projects we’d like to do on campus,” Russell said. 

He said the state funds a project every six to 10 years. 

Barbara Burch, faculty regent, said the Six-Year Capital Plan comprises all the projects the university hopes to get funded by the state.  

“The Capital Plan is a wish-list of all the things the university would like to do,” she said. 

Burch said the items on the list are subject to change in priority at any time, so the plan will be an ongoing discussion. 

The top priority project on the list is to construct a new Gordon Ford College of Business and renovate Grise Hall.

The first project will cost $97.2 million, and the second project, which will update the underground infrastructure, will cost $30 million. 

 The Board of Regent’s request form states the university developed the plan through integrating priorities in the 2014-2020 Master Plan with capital priorities for higher education outlined by the Council on Postsecondary Education. 

The university will submit the plan to the Capital Planning Advisory Board and the CPE on April 15. 

The CPE will review capital spending requests and make recommendations to the governor and the general assembly for the biennial budgets between 2016-2022. 

Burch said the university will wait to see if there is money at the state level to fund the projects. 

“The fiscal situation is such that it is a tough call,” she said. “It’s a very tough year for funding of everything, but we certainly remain hopeful.”