Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday continued his campaign promoting the statewide bond proposal at N.C. Central University, where he dropped in on faculty and students at the school of business.
The governor talked about bonds, jobs and Black History Month with NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White before a packed classroom.
The setting – in the 60-year-old C.T. Willis Commerce Building – was appropriate: The university would receive $30 million for a new business school if voters approve the bond issue on March 15.
The UNC system would receive more than $1 billion from the bond, much of it focused on science, technology, engineering and math facilities. Historically black colleges and universities, such as NCCU, would receive $193 million. The community colleges in North Carolina would receive $350 million for improvements at all 58 campuses.
Bonds would also go to improve water and sewer systems, National Guard buildings, parks and the zoo. In all, $2 billion worth of work is proposed.
The governor has been traveling the state to build support for the bond referendum, highlighting local projects in each community. He is scheduled to go to Greensboro on Wednesday, where he will announce major new support for the bond, according to his office.
On Tuesday, McCrory turned a question about the Super Bowl into parallels among the Panthers, Durham and North Carolina – all once underrated, he said. After praising Durham’s economic comeback, McCory said:
“I don’t think people even in the state appreciate what Durham has done, and the same thing applies to the Carolina Panthers,” McCrory said. “They don’t get the respect they deserve.
“I think Durham, North Carolina, North Carolina Central University can use that lack of respect to our advantage to surprise people. They underestimate us. Let’s use that to our advantage. Not only across North Carolina — I think that’s what the Panthers are going to do.”
He predicted a 33-10 Panther victory, and said he would be at the stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
McCrory, who is running for re-election, also signed a proclamation declaring it Black History Month, promised to recognize African-American contributions to North Carolina history in a monument at the state Capitol, and said his first dinner as governor in the Executive Mansion was with all the chancellors of the state’s historically black colleges and universities.