WKU Reacts To Budget Cuts

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

Dean of the Potter College of Arts and Humanities David Lee is not pleased with Governor Ernie Fletcher's decision to veto a project that would expand the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center...a heavily used student building.

"About 15 percent of teaching that goes on here on Bowling Green's campus takes place in the Fin Arts Center. We have 2 required general education classes here.

He says students and faculty have to deal with roof leaks and extreme temperatures in addition to cramped quarters inside the building.

Lee says he is also against the decision to veto a renovation of the 100-year-old Van Meter hall which he calls "out-of-date".

"The lightning system doesn't work well. The HVAC system doesn't work well. The audio system doesn't work well. It doesn't have the kind of production support that we need for production events."

The Raymond B. Preston Center was also turned down for $10 million to expand its building.

Director of the Preston Center...Stephen Rey says the center is no longer big enough to adequately accommodate the growing number of students on campus.

Provost Barbara Burch says the budget vetos were not unexpected but still hurt.

"We're very disappointed. I don't think it changes our plans long-term. Short-term it slows us down a little bit."

But Lee says until the government approves money for these projects, they'll just have to deal with the situation the best they can.

"At least part of what we'll be doing is we'll continue to put buckets under leaks. We'll continue to deal with temperatures in the 90 degree range in classrooms and offices in this building... and we'll continue to have some pretty cramped student instruction space."

More than 19 million was cut from general fund bond projects at the university which include expanding the science campus and replacing Gordon Ford College of Business.

It also called for a $38 million cut for agency bond projects which includes buying property in order to construct more parking lots.

Western did receive the 35 million dollars to replace the college of education, $25.5 million dollars to add another half to L.T. Smith Stadium, and $3 million in operating costs for the Kentucky Academy of Math and Science.

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