Research facility relocation hits unexpected snag

Regents cancel meeting amid confusion over facility ownership

FORREST HOLT, Evergreen reporter

The Board of Regents cancelled its meeting yesterday morning after the university found out it might not fully own some of the buildings they were going to vote on relocating.

The Regents originally scheduled the special meeting to vote on selling WSU land to the Moscow Pullman Regional Airport for its runway expansion project, said Phil Weiler, Vice President of Communications for the university.

Weiler said the United States Department of Agriculture, which works alongside WSU researchers at the Terre View facilities, once owned the facilities and it was unclear if ownership had been transferred to the university.

He said the discrepancy should not affect the price of the transaction, or the relocation timeline.

WSU plans to relocate 20 animal and horticulture research facilities, and was unsure if the USDA or the university owned nine of them, Weiler said.

“When you’ve got complex land deals like this,” he said, “it is not uncommon to find these kinds of things.”

Selling the land should yield about $15.3 million, which would be used to relocate the displaced facilities.

Weiler could not speculate when the misunderstanding would be resolved, saying another special Regents meeting may be scheduled, or the matter be considered at the regularly scheduled Sept. 21 and 22 meetings.