UH CFO explains timeline, increased cost of TDECU Stadium
UH Chief Financial Officer Carl Carlucci presented to SGA on behalf of the Department of Administration and Finance at the Student Government Association meeting on Wednesday night, in response to recent outcry from SGA President Charles Haston over the delayed completion of TDECU Stadium.
According to Carlucci’s presentation, UH spent about $10 million more in student fees than originally planned in order to fund the construction of TDECU Stadium. The stadium was originally supposed to cost $105 million to build, with $24 million of that budget coming from student fees, $15 million coming from annual stadium revenue bonds and $61 million from private donations given to the university.
“It’s a moving target, we’ve never run a facility this size,” Carlucci said. “We want to make this a revenue producing venue so that it self pays and we can put together a renewal fund.”
President Renu Khator recently launched an internal audit in order to confirm that $5 million of the funding from the Higher Education Assistance Funds, or HEAF, that were earmarked for academics were used accordingly. Specifically, the $5 million was earmarked to fund the building of new band classrooms inside the stadium. Carlucci said that he felt “confident” that the funds were used in the appropriate manner. UH receives $35 manner in HEAF funding, while universities such as Texas A&M University and the University of Texas get upwards of $300 million.
When talks of a raise in student fees were brought up in the fall of 2011, the potential increase was to be used to fund two athletic facilities, the construction of the new football stadium and the renovation of Hofheinz Pavilion. Haston previously blasted Administration and Finance of the failing to honor portions of the Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, that included a referendum to increase the Student Service Fee by $45 during his address to the Student Fee Advisory Committee.