Area universities, colleges in line for capital money from Ohio


Area colleges and universities may be in line for funds to renovate buildings, reduce operating costs, and build new program centers.

The Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission, a collaboration between Ohio public college and university presidents, released recommendations today for about $400 million in state capital funds. Though lawmakers must approve capital funds, Gov. John Kasich expressed support for the recommendations, and hailed the collaborative process.

"They will get a little bit more money in this bill," he said, "which we are delighted to give them."

The University of Toledo would get the most out of regional institutions based on the recommendations, with $21 million total planned for the school. State funding this year would focus on rehabilitation of current structures, and most of the UT projects follow that vein. Example of rehabilitation include $2 million in elevator repairs, $1.4 million in network infrastructure replacement, and $1.5 million for projects to reduce campus energy usage.

Bowling Green State University's capital funds are almost entirely for a single project, the modernization of science laboratories in Moseley Hall. The commission recommended $16 million for that project; BGSU also could get $1 million for a project at the Firelands campus.

Owens Community College could get $5.5 million in capital funds, targeted to pay for renovations of Kinglsey, Heritage, and College halls. Terra State Community College, meanwhile, would get $1.2 million to fund maintenance or repair for campus roads.

There is also $2 million pegged for a new Northwest Ohio Workforce Development and Advanced Manufacturing Training Center that would be based at UT, but would be a collaboration between the university, Terra State, and Northwest State Community College. The center would create a pathway from a certificate, to associate's degree, and finally a bachelor's degree in plastics and advanced manufacturing.