Friday, June 30, 2017
NOTES FROM THE SENATE, JUNE 30, 2017
HALF OF BOND PACKAGE GOES TO EDUCATION
When the state sold $1.39 billion in bonds in the market last week, the investment in all educational facilities and equipment represented almost half of the entire package, totaling some $632.5 million. K-12 education capital outlay spending accounted for $230.2 million of the total bond package. This includes the different categories of school system funding, including Advance, Regular and Low-Wealth systems. Included also is $7.5 million for replacing school buses. Georgia has a long tradition of funding capital outlay for k-12 schools and systems know when they follow DOE Board planning guidelines, that capital outlay funding will be there for their project. Unlike some states, which offer little in the way of assistance for school construction, Georgia has met the needs of a growing state in providing these funds without regard to politics or geography.
BONDS FUND IMPORTANT INVESTMENTS IN TECHNICAL COLLEGES
Technical colleges will benefit from $157.5 million in the Bond package that will be used for construction and equipment to meet the changing needs of industry and training. Fifteen million will be distributed around the state for facility major improvements and renovations to keep facilities up to date and well-maintained. Also include in the bond package is the new Hall County Campus of Lanier Technical College totaling $73 million.
Other projects include:
$4.9 million to complete construction of Phase II, Carlton Construction Academy at Albany Technical College.
$9.5 million for a Plant Operations and Workforce Training Center at Ogeechee Technical College in Bulloch County
$860,000 for a truck driving pad for Ogeechee Technical College to be located in Sylvania, Screven County.
$11.3 million for new "World Class" equipment for facilities statewide and $5 million to replace obsolete equipment
$9 million to continue to develop College and Career Academies
GEORGIA'S UNIVERSITY SYSTEM GROWS
The $244.7 million going to the colleges and universities statewide represent a large investment the state is making in higher education. There is $50 million in Maintenance and Repair for facilities statewide. Regents has more buildings than any state agency. The bond package also includes $9.2 million for equipment for new buildings nearing completion.
This is an incomplete list of projects being funded in this bond package:
$22 million for a hew health professions academic center and Ashmore Hall renovation at Armstrong Atlantic University in Savannah.
$18 million at UGA for Phase III of the Terry College of Business building
$47 million for Phase One of a renovation of Price Gilbert Library and Crosland Tower at Georgia Tech
$1.6 million for design of the Carlton Library and Fine Arts building at Abraham Baldwin College in Tift County
$4.5 million for the design of a new College of Sciences and Math Building at Augusta University
$4.9 million for the planning and design of a new Center for Engineering and Research at Georgia Southern University
$4.9 million to design, construct and equip the renovation and expansion of the Student Activities Center at East Georgia State College in Emanuel County
$5 million for the design, construction and equipment for the renovation of Hanner Complex at Ga. Southern University
$5 million to plan, design and construct the Student Support Center renovations at Fort Valley State University
$2.8 million for aviation equipment at Middle Georgia State University
$5 million to design, construct and equip the renovation of the Poultry Science Research Facility at UGA in Clarke County
BONDS AFFECT EVERY AREA OF STATE GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS' LIVES
Outside of education, the balance of the state's bond package touches virtually every agency and meets varied capital outlay needs. For example, in the area of Public Safety, including DPS, DOC, DJJ, DOD, and GBI, there is a total of $130.8 million. This funds projects like a new Crime Lab in Savannah, Armory improvements, renovated detention facilities, security upgrades like CCTV and new prison locks, and repurposing a prison facility to be a reentry and transition prison.
Human needs include projects at Warm Springs, new technology for DPH, a new forensic unit for DBHDD, new facilities for treating injured veterans and ADA related improvements in state facilities statewide. New DFCS facilities are planned in Troup and Ben Hill Counties. Agriculture related bonds include a "Georgia Grown" building and a covered Equine arena at the Ag Center in Perry.
Public recreation and water and natural resource protection are funded with bonds for improvements in state parks around the state, land acquisition and flood control all totaling some $34 million. There is also $100 million to DOT for the second year of a three year plan to make Georgia's bridges safe around the state.
A complete list of bond projects can be found at this link: https://gsfic.georgia.gov/sites/gsfic.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/June%202017%20Bond%20Sale%20Project%20List.pdf