UVSC puts plans for campus on 100 acres in Am.F. on hold Decision put off pending completion by regents of long-range plans for state's colleges and universitiesPlans by Utah Valley State College to stretch a satellite campus on 100 acres in American Fork have been reined in while higher-education officials map out a long-range plan for the state's colleges and universities.
President Kerry D. Romesburg said the status of the land, owned by the Utah State Developmental Center, a state-operated institution for the seriously disabled, won't be known until the State Board of Regents completes a growth blueprint for Utah schools."The regents want to know how it will fit in the long-range plans," Romesburg said. "It will be another year before we get an answer on it."
Romesburg said UVSC trustees wanted to branch out on the acreage, which was offered to the school by state officials during the past legislative session after studying which state agency would benefit most by the land.
Regent leaders last month were asked by legislators what their intentions were regarding the land. Higher-education officials requested time to determine if and how the parcel should be purchased to "landbank" prime real-estate now being gobbled up by developers.
"The regents said, `We don't want to say no, but we don't want to say yes, either,' " Romesburg said, adding the cost of the land may be included in bonds issued by the state instead of money ang gobbled up by developers.
An effort to seal up the land for UVSC by the Mountainland delegation stalled earlier this year. A bill by Sen. LeRay McAllister, R-Orem, was held up and sent back for more study when the cost-per-acre estimates fluctuated from $30,000 to $70,000.
In the legislation, McAllister proposed a lease-to-own style of payment on the land, requiring UVSC to enter into a long-term lease with the center until a "fair compensation (was) paid in full."
By law, proceeds from the sale of any of the land must be returned to the center.
"The only reason it is not an obvious yes (to buy the land) is how it would be funded," Romesburg told UVSC trustees at a recent meeting. "If we could lock it up for $50,000 an acre, it's a steal, if we can do it."
Romesburg does not expect the land to be used for anything but a campus for the growing school if regents include it in the master plan. He anticipates more than 8,000 students from Lehi, Pleasant Grove, American Fork, Cedar Hills, Highland and Alpine to enroll at UVSC by 2008.