Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

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LEGISLATURE:

State building program approved

CARSON CITY – A $336.4 million building program has been approved by a key legislative subcommittee calling for the start of planning for the Hotel College Academic Building at UNLV and construction of a child and adolescent hospital in Las Vegas.

The state will issue $158.6 million in bonds to finance part of the projects and the rest will come from federal funds, fees and contributions.

“It’s disappointing,” says Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, chairman of the joint budget subcommittee on capital projects. “We have no money” to finance all the projects that were needed, he said.

The subcommittee approved $22.8 million for the 36-bed acute care psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. It will be built next to the existing Desert William Treatment Center.

The hospital was needed because federal Medicaid regulations do not permit residential and acute care in the same facility. It was initially proposed that the Willow Treatment Facility be expanded.

Harrah’s Entertainment has pledged money and the state is going to put up a matching $3.2 million for planning of the Hotel College Academic Building at the UNLV campus.

The subcommittee also approved $5 million for exhibits construction at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve Museum that is being completed.

And about $11 million is expected to be available at College of Southern Nevada’s Cheyenne Campus.

Assemblyman Morse Arberry, D-Las Vegas, said the “Cheyenne Campus has been neglected for 35 years. I would rather put money to education than to other issues.”

Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said heating, air conditioning and fire alarm work is needed at the Cheyenne campus. “These are not a luxury,” she said.

One of the biggest single projects is a $42 million building of the Medical Education Learning Lab at the medical school at Nevada Reno.

There is $24.7 million allocated for a field maintenance shop facility for the military in Las Vegas. And there is $35.7 million for a readiness center for the military in North Las Vegas. Most of those funds are coming from the federal government.

The subcommittee also decided to set aside $7.8 million for remodeling of an unoccupied building at the High Desert State Prison in Clark County. It would be converted to a regional medical center with 116 beds.

This recommended list will be presented to the full Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee for approval. But few changes are expected.

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