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11 January 2008
JSU Makes $100,000 Request

By Jennifer Bacchus
News Staff Writer

Reprinted here in its entirety.

During the work session prior to the December 20 meeting of the Jacksonville City Council, the council heard from Dr. William Meehan, president of Jacksonville State University, regarding the university’s current capital campaign.

The campaign is now about five years old and 79 percent of the current goal has been met. Following the campaign surpassing its initial goal of $17.5 million in April 2006, the goal was raised to $25 million.

JSU is asking $100,000 from the city, to be spread over a five-year period. The campaign will not end until December 2008, and they requested the city begin donations prior to that date.

The funds will be used for capital improvements to include new academic buildings and sidewalks in the hopes of turning the campus into a more pedestrian-friendly place.

“We’re anticipating by that time, many years before that, our goal of 10,000 students, which we actually hope to achieve by 2010,” said Meehan.

The university’s ultimate goal, exemplified in its Master Plan for 2025 is take all interior parking on campus and turn it into green spaces or buildings, putting the parking on the fringes of campus and requiring students either use a public transportation system or walk to get to class.

“I think you are aware that we have talked about a transportation system. I know you are aware because you helped us achieve a grant from the federal government for approximately $2 million to kick that off,” Meehan said to the council. “We have the support of the students now. The SGA has ordered that transportation plan. So I would imagine between 2008 and 2009 we would see that implemented on campus.”

Mayor Johnny Smith put forth the idea during the work session that mutually beneficial projects, such as sidewalks and tennis courts be built with any funds given by the city.

The council is planning a finance committee meeting on January 10 at 2 p.m. to discuss the matter.

In the council meeting, the council:

• Approved bid specifications for skateboard park equipment. Bids are due in by 10 a.m. January 24. Every item requested by the skateboarders in a meeting held December 3 was sent out for bids.

• Awarded bids for items needed to complete the 12-inch pipe extension from Ann Street to the Big Springs pumping station on Spring Avenue to Vellano Brothers, Inc. for the purchase of six-inch pipe at $4.42 per linear foot, Empire Pipe & Supply for the purchase of 12-inch ductile iron pipe at $17.25 per linear foot and Jim House & Associates, Inc. for eight-inch and 10-inch altitude valves in the amount of $5,094 and $10,247 respectively.

• Awarded a service contract to Vann Walker Construction Company not to exceed $45,000 for their assistance installing the 12-inch pipe extension.

• Awarded the bid for 2008 street improvements project to McCartney Construction Company, Inc. for $63.19 per ton.

The next council meeting will be January 14 at 7 p.m.

About Jennifer Bachus

Jennifer Bacchus is a staff writer at The Jacksonville News. She can be reached at 256-435-5021 or via e-mail at

See story at The Jacksonville News's website: .

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