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February 20, 2024

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WCU to Embark on a 130 Million Upgrade

Western Carolina University is embarking on a $130 million upgrade to its athletic facilities, starting with $30 million worth of initial projects. Renovations will target various sports facilities in smaller segments as funding becomes available.

To finance these upgrades, the university plans to issue $30 million in debt, partly funded by increased student fees, which may rise from $249 to a maximum of $273 per student due to higher interest rates. However, the actual increase for students would be $177 after considering retired older debts.

The university aims to match $30 million through philanthropy, totaling $60 million for the first phase. This marks a shift in fundraising focus towards athletics rather than academic pursuits.

Seeking additional support, WCU appeals to the N.C. General Assembly due to funding limitations from student fees and alumni contributions for vital athletics facility improvements.

Appointed construction and design teams will collaborate early on for efficient coordination, with the project expected to span 24 to 30 months, depending on fundraising progress and alignment with athletic schedules.

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