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Kasich calls on university presidents to write construction budget

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

Gov. John Kasich tasked university presidents of Ohio to work together to allocate capital budget funding, and Ohio State took the largest share of the distribution.

The Higher Education Capital Funding Commission, which OSU President E. Gordon Gee chairs, representatives from 37 universities came together to submit recommendations on how to spend the state’s roughly $350 million capital budget for higher education.

“You’ve heard me talk … about creating a university system, rather than a system of universities,” Kasich said. “Whenever there was a capital build that came before the legislature there were formulas that distributed these dollars.”

Using this committee, Kasich redistributed the decision-making process, and gave the power of recommendation to the universities.

“I’m very pleased to say that all the presidents — community colleges, technical colleges, university presidents — have all signed this document indicating their complete support for what we’re doing,” Gee said.

Kasich said the formula for distributing the capital budget was very much just a set of numbers, rather than a strategy. Kasich said that through these recommendations, a strategy for all places of higher education has been created.

The recommendations the funding commission forwarded work on a tentative $350 million budget, subject to changes from Kasich and the Ohio legislature. Of that total, OSU has carved out about $82 million for projects including:

-$50 million for the new Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building

-$4.08 million for renovations to buildings on the Newark, Marion, Mansfield and Lima campuses

-$3.9 million for roof repairs to Mendenhall Library, Meiling Hall, Hitchcock Hall and the Math Building

-$3.56 million for elevators in Graves Hall, Starling Loving Hall, Atwell Hall, McCracken Power Plant and Pomerene Hall

-$610,000 for repairs to the foundation of Hayes Hall

The $50 million allocation for the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building is the highest amount recommended for any one project, followed by $28.8 million allocated to the University of Cincinnati for renovation to the Medical Sciences Building.

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