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UT moves forward with plan to sell its Scott Park campus

The University of Toledo Board of Trustees is progressing with plans to sell Scott Park campus and recently approved a resolution to begin the process of securing state approval.

The university will need permission from the General Assembly to transfer the property. State agencies typically need such approval because property is owned by the state and not the public agencies. The Department of Administrative Services compiles and submits what’s called a land conveyance bill — a list of properties state agencies want to sell or transfer — to the General Assembly for review and approval.

The university’s plan to sell the property is part of a $275 million 10-year multiple campus master plan.

The master plan was first presented in December, 2016, as plans to renovate the campus — including updating the Student Union, expanding Greek housing and moving out of Scott Park — and was approved in February, 2017. The university has since begun its first phase of the 10-year plan, which includes renovations to Carlson Library, the Student Union, Greek housing upgrades and classroom renovations inside the school’s architectural centerpieces such as University Hall.

UT Director of Communications Meghan Cunningham said the university’s goal is to reduce its footprint.

“The Scott Park campus in recent years hasn’t been utilized as it had been in the past, and that was one opportunity explored when we look at the future of our campus,” she said.

Scott Park, which occupies 177 acres, houses the university’s Division 1 baseball and softball fields, the city of Toledo’s district police station, the city’s recreation fields and softball facilities — which are both long-term ground leases that will continue post the transition of the location — Toledo Early College High School, and the university’s Minority Business Development Center.

Ms. Cunningham said the university in August moved the Human Resource Team as well as the soccer field.

During Monday’s meeting, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO Matt Schroeder said the next step for the university is to await the approval of the land bill.

“Once it is on the land bill it will play itself out and work its way through the House and Senate, and hopefully the governor will sign it,” he said.

Mr. Schroeder added that the next phase will consist of large-scale projects such as expediting the intercollegiate baseball and softball fields, which will call for donors.

As the university progresses with its plans to potentially sell the Scott Park campus, city stakeholders including Toledo Public Schools, Lucas County Commissioners and the city of Toledo have confirmed no immediate plans to acquire the campus if placed for bid.

Gretchen DeBacker, the city’s legislative director, said the city recently relocated its fire department’s operational training from Scott Park campus to Owens Community College. As for what will come of the police substation on Scott Park campus, Ms. DeBacker said the city has no further details.

“… we have a lease there, but we don’t know if they’re going to put that building up for sale or exempt it. We’ll just address that when we get to it,” she said.

She added that the city has had general conversations regarding the possibility of acquiring Scott Park, but there have been no substantial discussions.

Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken said his board once considered buying the property but never pursued doing so for economic reasons.

TPS officials are aware of the university’s plans to sell the property, and Toledo Public Schools’ executive communications director, Patty Mazur, said the district plans to relocate its Toledo Early College High School.

“… We hope to bring a resolution to the board as early as next week regarding next steps for a possible new location for Toledo Early College,” Ms. Mazur said, adding the district does not have any interest in acquiring the property.

Ms. Mazur declined to comment further on the district’s potential plans for relocation.

 

Posted By: The Toledo Blade on September 22, 2019.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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