Voters Approve Connect NC, N.C. A&T to Get New Engineering Complex

Voters Approve Connect NC, N.C. A&T to Get New Engineering Complex

After the March 15 state primary election, North Carolina A&T State University stakeholders have a reason to celebrate. With nearly 66 percent of the vote, North Carolina voters overwhelmingly approved the $2 billion Connect NC bond. The bond will bring $90 million to the university.

“North Carolina voters reaffirmed their commitment to improve the quality of life for all residents in our state by approving the $2 billion dollar Connect NC bond referendum,” Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. said in a statement. “The bond will provide critical investments in North Carolina’s university system, community colleges, the National Guard, state parks, and water and sewer systems.”

N.C. A&T’s $90 million-share will fund the Engineering Research and Innovation Complex (ERIC) that will serve as a catalyst for short- and long-term economic growth and development. The ERIC will help the university foster partnerships with local and regional industry, create job opportunities that directly benefit the entire community as companies seek to meet the global demands of the future.

The bond positions the state to finance, much-needed capital and infrastructure improvement projects across 76 counties. The day after the monumental vote, Governor Pat McCrory visited A&T on the second stop of his three-stop “Thank You Tour” to show his gratitude to voters.

“I’m here to thank the citizens of North Carolina for recognizing the importance of investing in the next generation and the generation after that and the generation after that,” McCrory said at A&T. “If we don’t invest in the next generation, we will no longer be competitive, not only with our neighboring states but the rest of the world.”

This is North Carolina’s first bond since 2000 when voters approved a $3.1 billion bond for construction on the UNC System and community college campuses. Over the last 16 years, the state’s population has grown by 2 million.

Traditionally, bond referendums are financed by tax increases. Connect NC has come at a time when the state is experiencing strong revenue growth with an ample debt service capacity. This bond will allow the state to pay for 50-year assets with 20-year financing and will not require a tax increase.

For additional information about A&T’s ERIC facility, visit the university’s website.