During the Mississippi Legislature’s 2017 session, no bond bill funds were appropriated to meet requests from the state’s eight public universities for maintenance and construction projects totaling $569,878,901. The board of trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning and university presidents say they won’t allow that to happen again.

“This is one of the absolute priority issues in this legislative session in the upcoming year. We just can’t let this happen again,” IHL commissioner Glenn Boyce said Thursday.

During a meeting Thursday, the board voted to approve the facilities needs requests of $512,465,901 for the 2018 session in January. Each of the eight public universities selected five priorities. The requests designed most important by each school:

• Alcorn State University: water and sewer infrastructure emergency repairs, $1,500,000

• Alcorn State University School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences: Child development laboratory center, $2.5 million

• Delta State University: reconstruction of president’s home, $1,753,575

• Jackson State University: renovation of Stewart Hall, $7.5 million

• Mississippi State University: kinesiology building, $30 million

• Mississippi State University Division of Agruiculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine: Blackjack forest wildlife research facility, $4,172, 500

• Mississippi University for Women: General campus repairs and renovations, $5.675 million

• Mississippi Valley State University: academic skills tenant improvements, $3 million

• University of Mississippi: new science building, $15 million

• University of Mississippi Medical Center: Batson Children’s Hospital of Mississippi expansion, $24 million

• University of Southern Mississippi: renovation of Bolton Hall, $4,500,000

• University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast: student resource center, Gulf Park, $8,700,000

• Education Research Center: reroof Paul B. Johnson building , $750,000

“This is all about students. We’re being as creative as we possibly can and we’re transforming what we have in place,” said Boyce.

Ashley F.G. Norwood

Ashley F. G. Norwood, a native of Jackson, earned a bachelor's degree in English from Jackson State University and a master’s degree from the Meek School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi. Norwood, who specializes in multimedia journalism, has been recognized nationally for her documentary film the fly in the buttermilk, which covers the history, perceptions and principles of black Greek-lettered organizations at the University of Mississippi.