By Madison Thompson —

U of L is expanding campus and building projects, from the renovations to the SAC to the new Future Student Success Center. The renovations bring the hope of growing student enrollment, as well as new study spaces and state-of-the-art classrooms.

Even though the university is creating new spaces for students, the older buildings need to be maintained. We cannot ignore the buildings we have.

These new buildings are being constructed while older buildings are being forgotten. But it is not just the buildings suffering, the students, faculty and staff suffer when the heat fails or property defects.

Allowing maintenance requests to go unanswered has created a large number of unfinished projects and incomplete maintenance. Incomplete requests can lead to the cost of repair raising, device failure or health and safety issues.

None of the maintenance is prioritized, university spokesperson John Karman said. It is not first-come-first-served, which is more than unfortunate. Faculty and staff have been waiting for repairs that may never come because these projects are not prioritized.

Karman said U of L has accumulated about $500 million of deferred maintenance. The current U of L budget allows one million dollars annually for these projects.

This is not enough, but little can be done now.

U of L is experiencing large budget cuts and overall has been forced time and time again to tighten their belt.

There is a proposal in the current state budget bill that, if passed, could authorize approximately $114.5 million in funding. Though the university would only receive about $50.9 million from the state, Karman said. Something is better than nothing.

This money would, hopefully, be applied to the maintenance.