Gray suggested using $1.5 million that was originally earmarked for designing plans to renovate Rupp Arena, a project that has stalled in support and finances.
Gray’s letter arrived in Frankfort the same day a bill was filed to set aside funds for the research center. The bill would use state funds to pay for half of the project, while the university would raise the other half of the money privately.
"I think it is a gesture of support for a very important project," Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. "As a city [we] ought to support any stimulating project like this represents."