Administration News

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.

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  • Even if the HEAF funding was spent “correctly,” we still have a seventh of our annual allotment going to an athletic venue instead of, say, classrooms for fields that actually matter or deferred maintenance of academic buildings.

    And for what? The pride of watching spandex-clad men writhe on top of each other for a couple of hours every fall? We’re not even going to be able to use the space as a performance venue for major traditions without paying for it again.

  • I’m torn. Between the Daily Cougar and the SGA, I am not sure which is more further removed from having a true grasp on reality.

  • So the students were sold an idea based on estimates, but the fundraising couldn’t make up the difference? Nice.
    The point that the stadium is supposed to generate revenue makes me think there will be a coaching change before next season.

  • All you whiners and those who just look for something to hate regarding sports. This was not an either or in terms of academics vs athletics. The monies were earmarked for athletics by those who wanted to finance this need and great long term investment. BTW our students overwhelmingly passed the bill choosing to pay fees for this stadium and would have done so at 120 or 105. To ignore the events and positive attention this stadium will bring to the University is being in denial or incredibly short-sighted. Stop looking for negatives regarding the stadium. The band will have their hall by next season and hopefully we will continue putting the finishing touches on the 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”
    Meanwhile we still have Tier 1 parking lots. This is outrageous :/

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