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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Board of Governors to study facilities funding



With funding for construction projects across the state university system at a historic low, the Florida Board of Governors is putting together a task force to study ways to address what the board called a facilities funding crisis.

The group will be made of members from all 11 public universities, in addition to additional experts and stakeholders, the board announced at its facilities committee meeting Wednesday.

Given the drying up of PECO (Public Education Capital Outlay) funds, which last year were reduced from more than 100 million to zero, plus the Legislature's budget cuts this year that are expected to be covered by universities' reserve funds, the task force is more important than ever, said board chair Dean Colson.

Its members will be announced in the coming weeks, the board said.

Legislators did manage to find some PECO money for universities by the end of the session -- $30 million all told, and about $7 million for maintenance, but the board says, based on national standards, it needs between $200 million and $400 million each year to maintain and modernize university buildings across the state.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 4:04pm]


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