Proposed bond package would be paid for by lottery

Tuesday, January 4th 2005, 6:13 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Lottery proceeds would fund a $500-million education bond issue under a plan supported by university presidents and the governor's office.

The money would be used for major building projects on campuses of the state's 25 public colleges and universities.

The governor is expected to ask the Legislature to take action early in the session to buy bonds for capital improvements ranging from new classrooms and research centers to performing arts halls.

Higher education chancellor Paul Risser says this will not require an additional tax, because the lottery has already been passed by the people.

Since 2000, the student population has increased by 28,000, straining outdated buildings and classrooms.

Last fall, enrollment increased by about 3,000 students over the previous year.

Universities that have had major growth include Rogers State University in Claremore, Northeastern State University's Broken Arrow campus and Northern Oklahoma College's branch campuses in Enid and Stillwater. Northern is providing remedial classes for Oklahoma State University.