Our Campus Transformation Fuels Kentucky Economy

by:  Eric Monday


Our Campus Transformation Fuels Kentucky Economy

Monday, February 29, 2016

Last Thursday, President Capilouto shared our story with the Kentucky Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee. In his testimony and the next step in our continuing conversation with the legislature and he shared a compelling story about our institution's role as the University for Kentucky, as a place that puts students first in everything we do, and that serves as the economic engine for our state.

Additionally, Provost Tracy outlined in his blog last week the various ways our research enterprise not only drives discovery, but also fuels economic growth. Our position as a major research player brings innovations to the marketplace through successful collaborations with business and industry.

In an analysis conducted in 2015, an independent research firm concluded that UK's research enterprise has an estimated $581.2 million economic impact on the Commonwealth of Kentucky, affecting some 8,100 jobs and $21.3 million in state and local taxes. This is just one important component of the economic impact of the University of Kentucky.

Since 2011, the University of Kentucky has launched a campus transformation unlike any other in higher education. This transformation has allowed us to double down on our commitment to putting students first, by building the innovative living and learning spaces that better support and empower their success.

Moreover, only 10 percent of that total capital investment is supported by state and federal dollars. The remaining 90 percent is possible because of public private partnerships, donors, UK Athletics and strong fiscal stewardship.
The University of Kentucky has long used local Kentucky consultants and contractors in our capital projects, ensuring that the community and Commonwealth benefit alongside our growth and success.

Since 2003, Kentucky businesses have represented 89 percent (176 out of 197) of all contractors and 83 percent (176 out of 211) of all consultants and architects, designers and engineers and on UK managed capital projects.

That equates to almost $1.2 billion dollars of business with Kentucky businesses since 2003.

In the last two years, UK has employed Kentucky contractors 85 percent of the time (69 out of 81) Kentucky consultants 89 percent of the time (72 out of 81). This equates to almost $450 million of business with Kentucky businesses since 2014.

Specifically, our housing projects alone and just one component of our campus transformation and has fueled $13.3 million in state/local tax revenue as well as 12,100 direct and indirect jobs, 75 percent of which went to Kentuckians.

Some examples of these Kentucky companies that have worked on housing include: Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects, Staggs & Fisher Engineers; Messer, TP Mechanical, Davis H. Elliot Electrical, and Mason Structure. Kentucky company examples that have worked on dining construction and renovations include Ross Tarrant Architects, CMTA Engineers, Jarboe Construction, Dean Builds, Finney, Davis H. Elliott, and Martina Brothers.

Our commitment to fueling the local economy remains resolute; it's a central part of our promise to the Commonwealth we serve.

There's no doubt: we have creatively found ways to earn our way forward by growing to better meet the needs of our students and the broader community we serve.

The state budget reductions, as currently proposed for the University of Kentucky, would have a chilling effect on much of the momentum we've made together. These proposed cuts would touch every corner of our campus. They would dampen our ability to support our mission and to drive Kentucky's economy.

It's a risk we, as Kentuckians, cannot afford to take.

I encourage you to learn more about the proposed budget, and how you can join the conversation, by visiting http://www.uky.edu/see/UK4KY. This site explains and dispels many of the misconceptions regarding our budget, expenditures, and how we utilize our state appropriation. It's a resource for all members of the UK family.

Thank you for your ongoing support and the important work each of you perform each day on behalf of our university and our Commonwealth.

Eric N.Monday @UKYMonday  #UK4KY