© 2024 WUKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Governor Approves UK Research Center Funding

Josh James

Gov. Steve Beshear put pen to paper Monday, making the state’s $132.5 million dollar commitment to the University of Kentucky’s next medical research center official.

"Big problems require big solutions and few challenges are as large or as stubborn as the horrendous collective health of our people," the governor said.

After rehearsing the long list of diseases and conditions – including cancer, obesity, and diabetes – that continue to consign Kentucky to the bottom of many national health rankings, Beshear added his signature to House Bill 298. Under the bill, the state agrees to authorize bonds to cover half the cost of the $265 million dollar project.

Attention now shifts to the UK, where officials expect to generate the school’s contribution through research contracts and private fundraising.  Lisa Cassis, Interim Vice President for Research, says the hope is that the multidisciplinary research facility will itself be a magnet for funding.

"This is the way for us to really be able to do even more in competing for funding, which will be a way that we'll try to use to complete the building and shore up what we need there," she explains.

As for when to expect the backhoes and construction crews, UK spokesman Jay Blanton says those will arrive within the year.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.