March 6, 2008
Tracy motion pushes for funding MTSU Science Building
(NASHVILLE, TN), March 6, 2008 — The Senate Education Committee has unanimously adopted a motion by Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) that would set as a priority of that committee, should state funds become available, seven capital building projects listed by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission as most in need of improvements. The list includes improvements to the Science Building at Middle Tennessee State University. The annual cost of the bonds for the priority projects would be $30.5 million.
“This is a very important project for MTSU,” said Tracy. “I am very pleased that we have set this as a budget priority for funds should we find the money.”
The administration’s budget proposal contained no new capital outlay funds, a problem many lawmakers fear will put pressure on Tennessee’s higher education institutions to keep up with high priority building needs. Other projects include a new academic and support building at Nashville State; a Technical Education Complex at the Northeast State Technical Community College; and the Nash Building at the Colleges of Dentistry and Medicine, Melrose Hall Academic Facility, Veterinary Medicine Hospital and Strong Hall at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
“The committee is mindful of the challenges we face in this budget year,” said Senate Education Chairman Jamie Woodson. “This resolution states that if funds are available, that higher education must have a seat at the table to help alleviate the pressures on our colleges, universities and our students.”
Some of the projects on THEC’s priority list are needed due to accreditation issues involving buildings at some of the institutions. Testimony before the Education Committee by the heads of Tennessee’s colleges and universities indicated that the current budget scenario would result in a “step backward.”
“The Science Building at MTSU has been on the list to be funded for a number of years,” Tracy added. “The time has come for the state to make a commitment to MTSU
and its students. I am optimistic that we can get funding this year for this important project.”