LAWRENCE — Gov. Sam Brownback lauded University of Kansas officials today as the university released $4.5 million in bonding authority back to the state after the School of Pharmacy expansion project finished close to 10 percent under budget.
Brownback thanked KU officials for their fiscal responsibility during the planning and construction of the new school in Lawrence and the expansion to Wichita.
“We appreciate the School of Pharmacy sending their funds here. That’s deeply appreciated,” Brownback said. “This is excellent.”
Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, noted that legislators are not accustomed to the return of state funds.
“This doesn’t happen very often,” he said.
The council granted a request from the Kansas Development Finance Authority to reallocate the bond proceeds to the Statehouse restoration project. Rebecca Floyd, executive vice president of the finance authority, said money saved on the School of Pharmacy project will reduce the next round of bond funds needed for the restoration project.
“This will result in a significant economic savings to the state of Kansas and to taxpayers,” Floyd said.
School of Pharmacy Dean Ken Audus, along with KU’s Chief Financial Officer Theresa Gordzica, former University Architect Warren Corman, Project Manager Steve Scannell, and Design and Construction Management Director Jim Modig attended the State Finance Council meeting Friday afternoon in Topeka.
Although the new School of Pharmacy facilities are state of the art, Audus said everyone involved with the project worked to ensure that each dollar spent could be justified.
“Everything was designed from a practical standpoint,” he said. “It’s an amazing facility, but every inch of it was designed and built with a purpose.”
Audus also credits good planning for the substantial savings.
“We put in years of planning on this project, and when the funds came through, we were shovel-ready,” he said. “We also began building during a time when construction costs were down. Being ready to go at that time allowed us to take advantage of those cost-saving opportunities.”