Kentucky Universities Can Start Construction Immediately As Projects Bill Signed Into Law

Six Kentucky's public universities can immediately start construction on more than $300 million in construction or renovation projects, including a $110-million renovation of Lexington's Commonwealth Stadium.

Governor Steve Beshear signed House Bill 7 into law on Thursday.

The bill authorizes bonds and other funds to help build academic buildings, dorms and other necessities at the universities. It assures no public money will be used for the projects.

WKU will receive authorization for $22 million in bonds for a new Honors College and international center.

Senate President Robert Stivers says the cooperation on the bill shows how the legislature should work.

"And so with that, I just want to thank the governor for his leadership, the university presidents for their leadership and the cooperation and leadership from Rep.Rand and Speaker Stumbo because this is how the process should work," he said.

The University of Kentucky has the most projects in the bill. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said the best part is the fact UK Athletics will use its money to help build an academic building on its campus.

"But bringing forth a new innovation plan, for the first time ever athletic monies will be used to build academic facilities," Stumbo says.

The bill was the first to pass and be signed into law this legislative session.