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Repairs top Ohio colleges' capital budget request

By By JULIE CARR SMYTH

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio higher education leaders instructed by Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) to cooperate when requesting state dollars have identified maintenance and repairs as far higher priorities than new construction.

A coalition led by presidents of Ohio public colleges and universities said Thursday it will ask for $166.8 million in combined funding for unglamorous but important maintenance projects across the state, mostly to refurbish and upgrade existing buildings.

The Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission's second priority when requesting state capital funding this year will be about $71.7 million in money-saving upgrades. Examples include energy efficiency enhancements, mechanical system improvements and shared services.

Additional requests will include $117.5 million to modernize classrooms, $15.8 million for enhanced technology, $25.1 million toward expansion, and $7.6 million in strategic investments aimed at improving completion rates.

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