A large statewide proposal for state of Ohio funds for colleges and universities was released in January that includes $50 million in requests from the Dayton area. The capital budget, as it’s called, is a biennial funding process to pay for long-term investments and infrastructure upgrades.
For the 2015-2016 capital budget for education, Governor John Kasich’s office assembled a committee of college and university leaders to review proposals and sift out a priority list. The result was a set of recommendations for $404.5 million in special funds, the vast majority to pay for maintenance and repairs.
In the Dayton area, Wright State is looking for $5 million to repair and update classrooms. The university is also seeking $3.6 million for its creative arts center, $3.5 million for a new job center for veterans and graduates, $600,000 for a data analytics and visualization classroom, and $1 million to build a new road salt storage facility that would be shared with Beavercreek and Fairborn.
Sinclair Community College has a major request in to upgrade its classrooms for a drone training program—$4 million would go towards modernizing the college’s National Unmanned Aerial Systems Training and Certification Center, which the capital budget brochure touts as “a program with the capability to both educate new students in UAS and retrain the industry’s existing workforce.” Sinclair has also requested $4 million for a life and health sciences education center.
Other Miami Valley requests include a bid from Central State for $3 million to repair the Brown Library and $1.5 million to get rid of mold, a request from Clark State for $2.1 million for energy efficiency upgrades, and a $21 million ask from Miami University to renovate Shideler Hall, its earth sciences building.
The funding is ultimately up to the legislature to approve, and the state house is expected to take up the capital budget after a mid-term review of the current two-year state operating budget.