Board of Trustees to discuss parts of bond projects

Graphic by Allison Struck

Graphic by Allison Struck

Rex Santus

The Kent State Board of Trustees will meet June 6 at its regular business meeting to approve and discuss university agenda items.

Kent State University’s issuance of $170 million in bonds to finance construction and renovations on campus will be discussed at the meeting.

Emily Vincent, director of university media relations, said the bulk of projects to be funded by the bonds will be presented to the Board for final approval at its September meeting.

Two resolutions will be discussed at the June meeting: the “critical asset preservation projects for Cartwright, University Library, McGilvrey and Taylor Halls” and the “accessibility and ADA compliance projects,” Vincent said in an email. The proposal was already approved at the board’s last meeting and sent to the state.

Vincent told the Record-Courier none of the university’s renovation projects are “set in stone” and that construction project specifics would be disclosed June 6.

“It is premature to go into specifics about the proposed projects that were outlined,” Vincent said in an email.

The bond issuance will be paid back through the university’s newly instituted course overload fee. Starting Fall 2012, students will be charged $440 per credit hour they register over 17 hours. Starting Fall 2013, the fee will be charged after 16 hours.

The university’s payback method was met with student criticism and protests, but no large protests have occurred since April 12.

According to the document, Kent State received high marks for its debt, meaning the investment had little risk. It received ratings of A+ by Standard & Poor’s and Aa3 by Moody’s Investor Services.

“These ratings indicate that the university’s ability to meet its debt obligations is considered strong,” the document said.

The $170 million bond request is the second bond proposal Kent State has made.

A complete list of the summer campus construction projects can be found here.

Administrators altered the previous $250 million bond request by reducing the loan amount to $170 million.

The initial bond request, which would be paid back through additional student fees, was not supported by former Board of Regents chancellor Eric Fingerhut.

The Regents’ current chancellor, Jim Petro, has approved the newer, smaller bond proposal.

Contact Rex Santus at [email protected].