Governor McCrory Talks Education Investments at UNC School of the Arts
Governor Pat McCrory led an educational discussion about Connect NC today at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Governor McCrory is the first governor to visit the UNCSA campus in more than 10-years. The conversation focused on what the bond would bring to UNCSA and the Triad region.
"I fought to put the Connect NC bond proposal before the voters because the investments here at the School of Arts and across the state will cultivate a stronger economy through an educated workforce and improve North Carolina’s quality of life for generations to come," Governor McCrory said.
On the panel discussion before nearly 200 members of the community, Governor McCrory was joined by UNCSA Chancellor Lindsay Bierman, DNCR Secretary Susan Kluttz, Forsyth Technical Community College President Dr. Gary Green and Winston-Salem State University School of Art Dean Corey Walker.
Connect NC will provide $1.3 billion to the UNC System and community colleges.
Forsyth Tech President Dr. Green said these funds will help community colleges update equipment and meet growing needs, evidenced by Forsyth Tech's needed addition of a third shift welding program from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Winston-Salem State University Dean Walker said the funds going towards the science building will help with research.
UNCSA will receive $10.9 million in repair and renovation funds for re-purposing the old library ($8 million), and repairing and partial renovation of Performance Place ($2.9 million).
Chancellor Bierman said the investments will help the UNCSA reach more people through the arts and education.
UNCSA School of Drama is ranked No. 6 in the world by The Hollywood Reporter, which also ranked the UNCSA School of Filmmaking No. 14 in the country. The university is also ranked No. 38 on Money magazine’s 2nd annual list of 736 best colleges.
Three graduates of UNCSA’s School of Drama are in Oscar-nominated films and two graduates of UNCSA’s School of Filmmaking are on Oscar-nominated sound editing crews. Additionally, a dozen students and alumni from UNCSA worked on or appear in eight films that screened recently at the Sundance Film Festival.
Including UNCSA, Connect NC will invest a total of $354.9 million in the Piedmont Triad region. Seven community colleges, four universities, four state parks, the North Carolina Zoo and the Guilford County National Guard Readiness Center all stand to receive funds from the bond.
In addition to investments in education, the $2 billion bond includes investments in state parks, agriculture, National Guard facilities and water and sewer infrastructure.
Governor McCrory stated that North Carolina's population has grown by 2 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.