The University of Utah expects to break ground for a new student housing project this summer, a development that will also serve as the Olympic Village during the 2002 Winter Games.
Now that the U. and the state and federal governments have reached a long-awaited agreement to transfer 11-plus acres at Fort Douglas to the state, the U. should complete the project well in advance of the 2002 Games, said U. President J. Bernard Machen.Some 3,500 to 4,000 Olympic athletes and officials will lodge in the student housing during the Games. The new development will increase the U.'s housing capacity to about 2,370 single student beds, up from about 1,400.
Gov. Mike Leavitt, Machen and Salt Lake Organizing Committee Chief Executive Officer Frank Joklik announced Monday afternoon details of a memorandum of understanding on the transfer.
When the U. receives the title to land on Sept. 30, the school will deliver $500,000 to the Army.
The state will help U.S. Army Reserve units displaced by the transfer move to new quarters in Salt Lake County. The new site has not been finalized. Possible sites include a parcel at 2000 South and Bangerter Highway and Camp Wil-liams near the Point of the Mountain.
Congress has appropriated $12.7 million to move two reserve units now at Fort Douglas.
The new housing will be financed through two separate bond issues - $110 million in revenue bonds issued through the U. and a state-issued $23 million bond.
Machen said the $500,000 payment to the Army will come from the revenue bond. The U. will back its bond through rent paid by students living in the new housing.
The transfer agreement has been delayed a number of times as reserve units balked, claiming the congressional appropriation was not sufficient to cover the move.
President Clinton vetoed funding to move the reserve units, apparently not realizing the Olympic connection. The veto was later over-turned by Congress.
Leavitt credited Utah's congressional delegation for its work in moving the transfer forward.
He also praised the U. site plan for the development, which contemplates preserving some historic Fort Douglas structures in the de-sign.