RALEIGH (May 18, 2023) – What price control of the UNC System?
Apparently about $400 million.
The cost of a new “Education Campus” to be built across Salisbury Street in Raleigh from the Legislative Building to house offices of the UNC System, NC Community College System, Department of Public Instruction and Department of Commerce has a ballooned by at least $81 million in the past year, according to the budget proposal released by state Senate leaders this week.
According to the proposal, the cost of the new building has grown from $269 million to $340 million. A parking deck for the facility would cost an additional $60 million.1
All for an administrative building.
The project was initially included in a budget to which legislative leaders and Gov. Roy Cooper agreed in November 2021.
At the time, it was projected to cost $100 million, plus $15 million for the UNC System to move its offices from Chapel Hill and rent office space in Raleigh.2
As the UNC Board of Governors later discussed rental of office space in Raleigh, board members Art Pope, Leo Daughtry and John Fraley complained that the project was too costly and had never been discussed publicly by the Board.
“It is my opinion that the move from here to Raleigh was done purely on the basis of politics,” Daughtry said at the time.
“The reasons to do this seem to be lacking,” said Fraley, like Daughtry and Pope a former member of the NC House. “This move is going to cost us a lot of money that we do not have to spend.”3
By July 2022, the project’s cost had grown to $180 million.4
Now it’s $340 million – plus $60 million for a parking deck. So much for fiscal conservatism.
As we’ve said before, moving the UNC System Office is not a new – or even bad – idea.
But moving an already politicized UNC System Office across the street from the General Assembly is a very bad idea.
1 https://webservices.ncleg.gov/ViewNewsFile/75/H259_v4, pp. 357-360.
2 https://webservices.ncleg.gov/ViewNewsFile/59/S105-CCSMLxr-3v5, pp. 535-537.
4 https://www.ncleg.gov/Sessions/2021/Bills/House/PDF/H103v4.pdf, pp. 172, 174; https://www.higheredworks.org/2022/07/unc-across-the-street/.
Seriously? And teacher pay is getting how much funding? Yet again, students in NC get left out.