Western Projects Still on Hold

The Special Session of the General Assembly Is now on hiatus.

Both chambers are on a three-week break.

The House adjourned last week after being in session for just over an hour.

House leaders say the session was unnecessary and too costly.

In fact, House Speaker Jody Richards issued a statement, outlining reasons for adjourning the session.

The State Senate continued working until today.

Now Democrats and Republicans are at odds over a series of automated phone calls.

The calls are reportedly being generated by the State GOP and are about House members who adjourned last week, without taking any action.

Seven of the projects on the special session list were for Western Kentucky University.

The projects total 57-million dollars And four of them would be paid for with the university's own money.

Those with the Gordon Ford College of Business are hoping Grise Hall will soon receive a facelift or even a complete makeover.

"It's an old, tired building. It was built 40 years ago," said Bill Tallon, the dean.

Two sessions ago, the university's projects, including the planning and design for the renovation of the College of Business, were vetoed from the budget by Governor Ernie Fletcher because the state had too much debt.

During the General Assembly's last session the House passed the projects, but the bill didn't make it through the Senate.

The projects for Western and other university's were put on the special session agenda by Fletcher and now Western is watching to see what happens as the General Assembly takes a three-week break.

"A new building helps recruit new students, more students, it'll help recruit better faculty," said Tallon.

Tallon says a new building could help students learn in more effective ways.

"Today's curriculum demands things like breakout rooms, lecture halls, tiered classrooms," said Tallon.

"We would have space where they could have lunches, discussions, hang out in a social way," said Tallon.

"It will help us be more competitive with other schools," said Pedro Ochoa, a student.

For now the university will act as a bystander to see if or when its projects are passed.