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USF St. Pete, FIU among winners in higher education budget

UPDATE: Additional funding for Florida International University was among the list of projects on the supplemental funding list released late Monday, bringing the total amount for the school to $6.8 million.

ORIGINAL POST: Under a budget deal announced Monday, Florida universities will share more than $250 million in state funding for building projects, including $8 million for a business school at University of South Florida St. Petersburg. The plan also includes $10 million to expand a college of engineering shared by Florida State University and Florida A & M University that just days ago seemed headed for separation.

Florida International University is allocated $5 million toward completion of its student academic center and $10 million to begin the process of relocating the Miami-Dade County Fair and acquiring land near the Modesto Maidique Campus in Miami.

All told, universities will see an increase of nearly $83 million for construction projects next year compared to the current year. That includes $41 million from capital improvement fees that students pay.

The state funding is still subject to votes by the entire Legislature before it goes to Gov. Rick Scott. It includes $58 million for maintenance and renovation of existing buildings and $156 million to begin or complete construction of new buildings.

Meanwhile, the state's 28 community colleges will share $108 million, including $92 million for new construction, compared with $42 million last year. 

Read more here.

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