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Nearly $1M for OUS in capital bill

Of the $2.4 billion allocated for fiscal year 2015-16 in House Bill 482 for capital improvements $970,000 will go toward upgrades at Ohio University Southern’s Ironton and Proctorville campuses.

“We’re, of course, very happy,” Dan Evans, OUS interim dean, said. “Nothing on the list gets all the money needed to do all their projects. But, it’s a welcomed sight to see the governor and the legislature invest back into the state’s universities.”

Ohio’s capital budget provides investments to maintain and improve the state’s educational and public-service infrastructure. The capital budget focuses on the most pressing maintenance and construction needs of state government, schools and higher education, with particular emphasis given to each investment’s impact on jobs and economic growth.

Of the total appropriation $800,000 is for improvements and upgrades at the Ironton campus such as $100,000 for a new safety and security system, $400,000 for heating ventilation and air conditioning energy upgrades and $300,000 to reinforce and repave the campus parking lot in Ironton and add to the lot in Proctorville.

The remaining $170,000 is for a walking path at the Proctorville campus.

“The walking path is a societal improvement that was planned several years ago,” Evans said. “One day we look to have ball fields and a park, too. Rep. Ryan Smith, R-93 was instrumental in getting the walking path done.”

Another $325,000 was allocated for the Ohio River Research and Development Center at The Point, an endeavor in which OUS is a partner.

“I think, overall, (OUS) was treated appropriately,” Evans said.

Ohio University President Roderick McDavis led a commission of university presidents to recommend a list of priority projects for consideration in the new capital budget. Ohio’s college presidents unanimously approved a unified list of recommended projects totaling $404.5 million. Another $50 million will support projects of statewide benefit to the University System of Ohio.