Originally created 03/10/99

Funding to help projects

AIKEN -- Aiken has a big stake in a $300 million bond bill for capital improvements coming up today for debate in the South Carolina Senate.

The bill that emerged from the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday includes $5.3 million for a new science building at Aiken Tech and $3 million for renovations to the student activities building at the University of South Carolina Aiken.

If the bond bill passes intact, the funds for the university will supplement a $900,000 transfer the Legislature already has made for the renovation project.

Since the House of Representatives is not producing its own bond bill this year, both schools are pinning high hopes on the Senate version, Sen. Thomas L. Moore, D-Clearwater said.

"This is the ideal opportune time for state agencies and institutions of higher learning to pursue construction projects because interest rates are the lowest they have been in years," he said. "I feel confident that the Senate will pass this bill and hope our colleagues in the House will follow suit."

Although not a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Mr. Moore participated in crafting the bond bill this year because of the role he would have played if both houses had come up with competing versions. He is vice chairman of the Joint Bond Bill Committee, which thrashes out compromises.

Margaret N. O'Shea can be reached at (803) 279-6895 or scbureau@augustachronicle.com.


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