Athens-based Ohio University will spend $1 billion over the next six years for capital improvements, most of it financed with bonds.

The board of trustees last Friday approved the plan.

“It’s a significant jump, but the trustees absolutely believe that you’ve got to plan ahead,” a university official told local reporters in a news conference after the board meeting. The school is part of the state university system.

The bonds would finance $570 million of the $997 million plan, reports said.

The board is also considering a separate $2.5 billion, 20-year capital improvement plan to replace and improve aging facilities. If approved, it would require $1.3 billion of debt.

The university expects to raise fees or tuition to help pay off the bonds.

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