Over the past year, N.C. State University paid a developer $3.4 million to design a hotel, conference center and golf course along Lake Raleigh.
"Certainly to anyone including myself, that's a lot of money. It's very appropriate for the project of this size and scope and very appropriate for the level of work we wanted them to do," Centennial campus coordinator Bob Geolas said.
Geolas said lease money from a development trust fund paid for the highly detailed architectural and design plans.
Under the latest proposal, Hines Interests of Houston would build and own the conference center, but N.C. State would still be on the hook to guarantee usage that totals $4.5 million a year.
"There's still an obligation on the part of the university and we have to look at that obligation, and we'd have to look and see how that fits in the economic and political climate that we're all dealing with right now," he said.
N.C. State trustees are expected to decide how much risk they are willing to take by next month's meeting.