EKU officials feel inflation squeeze with two large construction projects in the works
Unprecedented inflation is impacting some high-dollar projects at Eastern Kentucky University. Now, school officials hope the legislature may step in to help ease that strain.
EKU has been planning construction at Alumni Coliseum and a new Model School for several years now. In an interview with WEKU, President David McFaddin said initial cost estimates were calculated using 2019 figures.
“Those numbers have changed dramatically. So yeah, we are Value Engineering both of those projects really, on day one, right out of the gate. We're seeing inflationary cost increases somewhere between 20 and 30%. That's on the labor side and on the material side, if you can get the things that you need, in the time that you need them to do the work,” said McFaddin.
When the state legislature convenes in January, McFaddin said securing funding adjustments for those projects will be a priority. In the meantime, McFaddin said the school is taking steps to reduce costs.
“We're confident we'll get those projects done on budget, on time. But we are going to engage the legislature hopefully to see if perhaps there could be some inflationary investment there to try to finish those projects with the vision that was cast as we went into the to the last session,” said McFaddin.
McFaddin added the school also hopes to work with lawmakers to address the state’s teacher, nurse, and pilot shortages by leveraging EKU programs. The Eastern president said the school will also advocate for more resources for flood impacted eastern Kentucky communities.
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