Regents OK RSU Funding

Rogers State University’s regents approve a funding plan to complete the $9 million expansion and renovation of Baird Hall on the Claremore campus.
The Board of Regents for the University of Oklahoma, the governing board for RSU, approved the plan at its regular meeting on Tuesday in Norman.
Regents approved the issuance of up to $3.5 million in bonds through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Master Lease for Real Property Program to complete the final phase of expansion and renovation of the 56-year-old building.
“This solid, efficient method of funding has been proven to be highly successful in providing the type of educational facilities that students need and deserve on Oklahoma’s college and university campuses,” said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice.
To retire the bonds, the university plans to increase the facility fee paid by students, beginning in the fall of 2010. RSU students recently expressed support for a facility fee increase of up to $4 per credit hour through a resolution approved by the Student Government Association.
“After engaging in a lot of debate, the majority of student delegates decided that the timely completion of Baird Hall would provide much-needed space and allow the university to move forward with expanding programs,” said Katie Navarro, president of the RSU Student Government Association.
Sale of the bonds will be authorized by the State of Oklahoma’s Council of Bond Oversight and Oklahoma Development Finance Authority.
Since proceeds from the bonds will not be immediately available to allow construction to move forward, the Board of Regents also approved a short-term construction loan. The loan will be repaid with bond proceeds in July 2010 when the final construction phase is expected to be completed, said Tom Volturo, RSU executive vice president for administration and finance.
The total $9 million cost of the Baird Hall expansion and renovation project includes funding of $4 million from the Oklahoma Higher Education Promise of Excellence Act of 2005, approximately $1.1 million in facility revenue bonds issued in 2007 and $500,000 in private donations and other University funds, Volturo said.

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