RALEIGH, NC (AP) - North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley says speeding up the start of more than $700 million in government building projects will also speed up the creation of more than 25,000 new jobs.
Easley led support for starting the projects a few months early during a Tuesday meeting of the Council of State. The panel voted in favor of the debt needed to pay for the package, which Easley said will stimulate the state's economy.
Economists estimate that every $1 million spent on a project results in 36 new jobs, meaning these projects will produce nearly 26,000 new jobs. For each dollar spent on a construction project, $2.28 is pumped into North Carolina's economy.
The Council of State approved the following projects that will provide necessary classroom and laboratory space for university students, and ensure there is sufficient prison space to house criminals.
The projects total $744.15 million are:
- $45.2 million -- Dept. of Correction: Women's Health and Mental Health Facility
- $13.1 million -- Dept. of Correction: Minimum Security Addition, Scotland County
- $19.9 million -- Dept. of Correction: Medium Security Addition, Bertie County
- $13.1 million -- Dept. of Correction: Minimum Security Addition, Tabor City
- $19.9 million -- Dept. of Correction: Medium Security Addition , Lanesboro
- $2.9 million -- Dept. of Cultural Resources: CSS Neuse Phase I (20,000 sq. ft. bldg.)
- $2 million -- State Ports: Port-wide Berth Structure Construction, Morehead City
- $5 million -- State Ports: Berth 8 Replacement Phase I, Wilmington
- $3.7 million -- Dept. of Ag.: Southeastern NC Agricultural Center Pavilion
- $650,000 -- Dept. of Ag.: Truck Shed & Restroom Expansion, WNC Farmer's Market
- $7.5 million -- Dept. of Ag.: Davis Arena Renovation & Expansion WNC Ag. Center
- $4.3 million -- Dept. of Env. and Nat. Resources: Research Oyster Hatchery
- $10 million -- Dept. of Env. and Nat. Resources: Land for Tommorrow Funds
- $2.7 million -- Dept. of Env. and Nat. Resources: Zoo Polar Bear Addition and Renovation
- $107 million -- Dept. of Env. and Nat. Resources: Green Square Complex
- $69 million -- East Carolina University: School of Dentistry
- $36.8 million -- East Carolina University: Family Medicine and Geriatric Center
- $18 million -- Elizabeth City State University: School of Education Building
- $2.4 million -- A&T State University: Horse Barns, Upper Piedmont Research Station
- $20.5 million -- A&T State University: General Classroom Instructional Facility
- $24.5 million -- N.C. Central University: School of Nursing Building
- $11.1 million -- UNC School of the Arts: Central Storage Facility
- $12.9 million -- UNC School of the Arts: Film School Production Design Facility
- 109.1 million -- N.C. State University: Centennial Campus Library
- $4 million -- N.C. State University:4-H Campus Improvements
- $69 million -- UNC Chapel Hill: School of Dentistry Addition
- $57.2 million -- UNC Charlotte: Energy Production Infrastructure Center
- $42.7 million -- UNC Greensboro: Academic Classroom and Office Building
- $10 million -- UNC General Administration Land Acquisition
Two Republican council members voted no. The council meeting was the last for Easley. Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue will be sworn in as governor on Saturday.