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Volume 11, Number 17 April 30, 2004

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Financing details for new building still being discussed

Planning for the $120-million Academic Health Sciences project is well underway but the province has yet to make any money available for actual construction.

Tony Whitworth, U of S vice-president finance and resources, said the Saskatchewan government has voiced its commitment “to work with the University to develop this project” but the March 31 provincial budget “was quite specific about there being no capital contribution” for construction. He added that discussions between the two about financing options continue.

One option is a bond issue by the University to cover the construction costs, a process whereby “we ask the markets to buy our debt and then we are obligated to repay the principal and interest.” Whitworth said this is “an approach I’ve suggested but the province is not very enthusiastic”. Because the University is provincially funded, “if we go out and borrow money, they (the government) see it as increasing the provincial debt”.

Another option is a $120-million lump-sum payment from the province. A third method would be “a combination of the two”.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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