(1) The Legislature recognizes that the universities do not have sufficient physical facilities to meet the current demands of their instructional and research programs. It further recognizes that, to strengthen and enhance universities, it is necessary to provide facilities in addition to those currently available from existing revenue sources. It further recognizes that there are sources of private support that, if matched with state support, can assist in constructing much-needed facilities and strengthen the commitment of citizens and organizations in promoting excellence throughout the state universities. Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to establish a trust fund to provide the opportunity for each university to receive support for challenge grants for instructional and research-related capital facilities within the university.
(2) There is established the Alec P. Courtelis University Facility Enhancement Challenge Grant Program for the purpose of assisting universities build high priority instructional and research-related capital facilities, including common areas connecting such facilities. The associated foundations that serve the universities shall solicit gifts from private sources to provide matching funds for capital facilities. For the purposes of this act, private sources of funds shall not include any federal, state, or local government funds that a university may receive.
(3)(a) There is established the Alec P. Courtelis Capital Facilities Matching Trust Fund to facilitate the development of high priority instructional and research-related capital facilities, including common areas connecting such facilities, within a university. All appropriated funds deposited into the trust fund shall be invested pursuant to s. 17.61. Interest income accruing to that portion of the trust fund shall increase the total funds available for the challenge grant program.
(b) Effective July 1, 2009, the Alec P. Courtelis Capital Facilities Matching Trust Fund is terminated.
(c) The State Board of Education shall pay any outstanding debts and obligations of the terminated fund as soon as practicable, and the Chief Financial Officer shall close out and remove the terminated funds from various state accounting systems using generally accepted accounting principles concerning warrants outstanding, assets, and liabilities.
(d) By June 30, 2008, all private funds and associated interest earnings held in the Alec P. Courtelis Capital Facilities Matching Trust Fund shall be transferred to the originating university’s individual program account.
(4) Each university shall establish, pursuant to s. 1011.42, a facilities matching grant program account as a depository for private contributions provided under this section. Once a project is under contract, funds appropriated as state matching funds may be transferred to the university’s account once the Board of Governors certifies receipt of the private matching funds pursuant to subsection (5). State funds that are not needed as matching funds for the project for which appropriated shall be transferred, together with any accrued interest, back to the state fund from which such funds were appropriated. The transfer of unneeded state funds shall occur within 30 days after final completion of the project or within 30 days after a determination that the project will not be completed. The Public Education Capital Outlay and Debt Service Trust Fund or the Capital Improvement Trust Fund shall not be used as the source of the state match for private contributions. Interest income accruing from the private donations shall be returned to the participating foundation upon completion of the project.
(5) A project may not be initiated unless all private funds for planning, construction, and equipping the facility have been received and deposited in the separate university program account designated for this purpose. However, these requirements do not preclude the university from expending funds derived from private sources to develop a prospectus, including preliminary architectural schematics or models, for use in its efforts to raise private funds for a facility, and for site preparation, planning, and construction. The Board of Governors shall establish a method for validating the receipt and deposit of private matching funds. The Legislature may appropriate the state’s matching funds in one or more fiscal years for the planning, construction, and equipping of an eligible facility. Each university shall notify all donors of private funds of a substantial delay in the availability of state matching funds for this program.
(6) To be eligible to participate in the Alec P. Courtelis University Facility Enhancement Challenge Grant Program, a university shall raise a contribution equal to one-half of the total cost of a facilities construction project from private nongovernmental sources which shall be matched by a state appropriation equal to the amount raised for a facilities construction project subject to the General Appropriations Act.
(7) If the state’s share of the required match is insufficient to meet the requirements of subsection (6), the university shall renegotiate the terms of the contribution with the donors. If the project is terminated, each private donation, plus accrued interest, reverts to the foundation for remittance to the donor.
(8) By October 15 of each year, the Board of Governors shall transmit to the Legislature a list of projects that meet all eligibility requirements to participate in the Alec P. Courtelis University Facility Enhancement Challenge Grant Program and a budget request that includes the recommended schedule necessary to complete each project.
(9) In order for a project to be eligible under this program, it must be included in the university 5-year capital improvement plan and must receive approval from the Board of Governors or the Legislature.
(10) A university’s project may not be removed from the approved 3-year PECO priority list because of its successful participation in this program until approved by the Legislature and provided for in the General Appropriations Act. When such a project is completed and removed from the list, all other projects shall move up on the 3-year PECO priority list. A university shall not use PECO funds, including the Capital Improvement Trust Fund fee and the building fee, to complete a project under this section.
(11) The surveys, architectural plans, facility, and equipment shall be the property of the State of Florida. A facility constructed pursuant to this section may be named in honor of a donor at the option of the university and the Board of Governors. No facility shall be named after a living person without prior approval by the Legislature.