House Panel OKs Bonds for Medical School Expansion

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Lawmakers are moving toward borrowing money to allow the University of Mississippi to construct a new medical school building.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously Wednesday for House Bill 610, which would issue $31 million in bonds for a new five-story building on the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus in Jackson.

Officials said the project's price tag has risen to $76 million from the $63 million previously estimated.

Lawmakers and Gov. Phil Bryant's administration have already appropriated $14 million for the project.

Committee Chairman Jeff Smith says House lawmakers intend to provide another $31 million next year.

Dr. Louann Woodward, UMMC's associate vice chancellor, says the money is enough to begin constructing the building. She says site work should begin in late spring.