- Associated Press - Friday, July 18, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana’s community colleges are about to start a construction boom.

The Bond Commission agreed Thursday to let the Louisiana Community and Technical College System borrow $300 million to pay for a list of 29 construction projects.

State lawmakers approved a bill in 2013 that allows LCTCS to sidestep the traditional construction budget process for the projects, over the opposition of Louisiana’s then-higher education commissioner.

Supporters say the projects will beef up worker training, to meet industry job demands and aid economic development efforts.

The state will pay off the borrowing, done through bond sales to investors, with interest over 25 years. At least 12 percent of a project’s cost has to be matched with private dollars before construction begins.

Repayment costs for the state will be $22 million a year.

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