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Art school project remains in budget

By Laurel Black lblack@paducahsun.com

The Kentucky Legislature's budget bill will guarantee funding for capital projects at 16 Community and Technical College campuses, including one at West Kentucky Community & Technical College.

The college will benefit from $7.5 million in agency bonds to renovate the 25,000-square-foot Kitchens Inc. building in Paducah's Lower Town district. The building will house classrooms, studios, offices and gallery space for the Paducah School of Art & Design, Gov. Steve Beshear said Friday in a news release.

"In many ways, these campuses are factories that build Kentucky's workforce, and they are long overdue for expansions, upgrades and improvements to enhance the learning environment," Beshear said.

Beshear's agency bond plan includes a $145.5 million proposal that represents the largest investment in the KCTCS system since its formation. When paired with local matching funds, the bonds will finance nearly $200 million in construction across Kentucky, Beshear said.

Beshear used a line-item veto to eliminate language in the budget bill that would have prevented nine other KCTCS campuses from taking advantage of the agency bonds that support these investments.

"We're pleased that we're still in the forefront of the budget discussions," WKCTC President Barbara Veazey said. "I'm very thankful that the governor continues his support of the KCTCS. That is what we as a community want."

Veazey said that, as is the case with other KCTCS institutions, WKCTC must raise 25 percent of the funds for the capital project. Agency bonds fund the remaining 75 percent of the $10 million project.

 

Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.

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