For the third year in a row, $130 million in donations for UF won’t be matched by the state, and an estimated state deficit of more than $3 billion looms as the culprit.
The construction of 15 buildings, including a Chemical Engineering Building and Graduate Studies building, would have been paid for by the Alec P. Courtelis University Facility Enhancement Challenge Grant Program. In the program, $29.4 million from university donors would have been matched by the state for a total of nearly $58.8 million.
Leslie Bram, associate vice president of the University of Florida Foundation, a nonprofit organization that invests and raises money for UF, said all the proposed new buildings are necessary and highly anticipated.
“Our donors and benefactors are frustrated because they want to see the projects come through,” she said.
She said while the university does not have the money now, it remains committed to the projects.
“We’ve delayed three years and construction costs have gone up,” she said.
Some buildings were given the go-ahead when the university took out loans and thought the money would come through.
Construction on Hough Hall finished last fall and the Harn Museum of Art’s Cofrin Asian Art Wing is expected to be completed next spring. The university is still waiting for state funding to pay off loans.
The Major Gifts Trust Fund Matching Grant Program would have matched more than $101 million in donations that could have gone to a number of projects at UF, according to Janine Sikes, spokeswoman for the university.
“We understand that budgets are tight at this point,” she said.