Governor McCrory Hosts Bond Panel Discussion at UNC Asheville
Governor Pat McCrory led an educational bond panel discussion today at the University of North Carolina Asheville. The conversation focused on what the bond would bring to UNC Asheville and the region.
"The investments in education made here at UNC Asheville and across North Carolina will create a stronger economy through an educated workforce," Governor McCrory said.
Governor McCrory was joined on the panel discussion by UNC Asheville Chancellor Mary Grant, N.C. Budget Director Drew Heath, North Carolina National Guard Adjutant General Greg Lusk, Asheville-Buncombe Tech Community College President Dennis King and Western Carolina University Chancellor David Belcher.
In total, Connect NC will provide $1.3 billion to the UNC System and North Carolina's 58 community colleges.
If approved by voters, UNC Asheville will receive $21.1 million to renovate 36-year-old Owen Hall. Owen Hall is currently home to UNC Asheville’s Department of Management and Accountancy and the Department of Art and Art History. The building has been in continuous use for nearly 40 years with no substantial renovations. The bond would fund renovations and create classroom space for use by the Mechatronics Engineering program, a joint-program between UNC Asheville and N.C. State University and one of the university’s fastest growing majors.
Western North Carolina stands to receive $362 million from Connect NC for improvements to three universities, twelve state parks and eleven community colleges. Additionally, the N.C. School of Science & Math Tech & Engineering will receive $58 million and the Burke County National Guard Facility will receive $23 million.
In addition to investments in education, the $2 billion Connect NC bond includes investments in national guard facilities, state parks, agriculture and water and sewer infrastructure.
Governor McCrory stated that North Carolina's population has grown by two million since the last bond was passed 15 years ago. He also reiterated that no tax increase is necessary to finance the bonds, now or in the future, given the state’s strong revenue growth and ample debt service capacity.