Bonds Will Grow Science Education
Many Critical Needs
The Connect NC bonds proposal includes $2 billion for UNC system campuses, community colleges, public safety, water and sewer grants, state parks and agriculture. North Carolina has grown by 2 million people since the last bond campaign in 2000. The state’s infrastructure, including educational facilities, is not keeping up with this growth. The bonds would provide $980 million for facilities on UNC system campuses and $350 million for community colleges – $134 million in the Charlotte region.
The need for new and refurbished buildings on UNC system campuses reflects the demand for science education to help drive a globally competitive, growing North Carolina. Companies such as Duke Energy and AREVA in the energy sector, Siemens and Sealed Air in advanced manufacturing, Carolinas HealthCare System and Novant in health care – and many others – are seeking graduates educated in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.
- No new taxes required to pay for the debt service.
- Maintains North Carolina’s AAA bond rating.
- Debt service will be $1.1 billion lower in 2020 than it is today.
- Proportion of N.C. General Fund required for debt service will decline.
- Historically low interest rates.
$90 Million for Science at UNC Charlotte
- This is a critical moment – UNC Charlotte has outgrown the science building. Demand for science instruction at UNC Charlotte is directly related to enrollment growth.
- Enrollment has grown by 142% since the current science building was built in 1985.
- UNC Charlotte accounts for 61% of the recent growth in the entire UNC system.
- A new science facility is crucial to ensuring continued growth and to meet strong demand. The bonds will provide $90 million for a new science facility.
- This is a matter of quality and quantity. Overcrowded, outdated science labs present a choke point in meeting demand for science graduates desired by employers.
- Increasing numbers of UNC Charlotte students are seeking degrees in STEM fields including hundreds of transfers from community colleges.