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SGA votes to aid UC Annex

By Kelly Griffith
Staff Writer

Students may have to dig deeper for a $20 fee increase. UNCP’s SGA unanimously voted March 1 to increase student fees $20 to fund the UC annex if the building bid comes in over budget again in late April.

Students currently pay $70 each semester towards a bond for $3 million the university borrowed in 2003, according to Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Neil Hawk.

Marko Gospojevic

Marko Gospojevic

A new bond would give the university $2 million more than the current budget.

He said the first payment was made in 2004 and he expects the bond to be paid off in 2029.

The interest rate for the bond fluctuates between 2 percent and 4.7 percent.

Each year the university pays a portion of the principle on the bond and the interest, Hawk said.

The principle payment ranges from $145,000 to $265,000 each year.

Construction fees skyrocketed since the bond approval in 2003, Hawk said.

Costs for the building were higher than the budget. According to the Fayetteville Observer, the second bid was $470,000 over budget.

Hawk said the state would not pay for the annex to be built.

The state only pays for educational buildings and the university’s grant for $57 million from state appropriations would not be a possible alternative to using students’ money.

Students will not pay the fee if the building comes in under budget, Hawk told SGA members Feb. 22 and  March 1.

“If it’s not needed, we would not implement it,” Hawk said.

He said the previous two bids came in over budget and the administration almost scrapped the project after the second bid.

For the third bid, Hawk said the administration decided to reduce the size of the multi-purpose building and take out the landscaping and sidewalk costs.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Diane Jones said Feb. 22 the university has a need for the annex.

“The students will benefit from this,” Jones said.

Survey

SGA president Marko Gospojevic said the SGA senators surveyed more than 500 students March 1 before making their decision.

He said 90 percent of the surveys voted for the increase in student fees.

Using posters with projected plans, the SGA set up a booth in the UC to ask students whether or not they were willing to pay out $20 more for the annex.

Some of the students saying they would not want the added fee justified their answer by referring to the $140 per year they already pay for the football team.

The survey asked if students wanted to see the administration find another way to cover the costs.

This would include finding donations.

Neil Hawk

Neil Hawk

However, Hawk said the university would be unable to sell bonds.

It would take time to find donations to build the annex. The multipurpose annex would have an open space on the first level to hold 500 people.

The second story would be the housing department and other student services offices.

The extra student fee may still be used if the third bid comes in under budget.

“Hopefully, if it comes in under budget, the bonds will pay to furnish the annex,” Hawk said. “If that doesn’t happen, it will be up to Dr. Jones whether we use the students’ money.”

Gospojevic said he thinks this would be a good use of students’ money. “I believe that those $20 will bring it up to date,” Gospojevic said. “It will make it trendy.”

Hawk said he is unsure of how long it will take to pay off a new bond.

However, he said he believes the administration would want a 20-year bond.

The decision would hang on interest rates, according to Hawk.

“We would make the decision at the time of sale,” he said.


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Updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2006
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