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Salt Lake Community College's plan for a 90-acre Herriman campus has moved south by a few miles and dropped in price by $10 million.
School leaders had previously reached an agreement to pay an unnamed landowner $20 million for 60 acres, and the remaining 30 acres would have been donated. But the college went back asking for a better deal at the insistence of state officials responsible for financing the transaction.
"We had numerous meetings with the developers and they wouldn't budge on the price," SLCC President Cynthia Bioteau reported to the state Board of Regents on Friday. Bioteau's staff looked for a sweeter deal and found one with the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, a major Herriman developer that agreed to take $10 million for a different site.
Like the first location at 5400 West and 12000 South, the new site is adjacent to the proposed Mountain View Corridor and light-rail line, as well as future middle and high schools, according to a memo to the Regents. Sorenson agreed to install roads and infrastructure, officials said.
The new site, at 4000 West and 14400 South, is also preferred by SLCC's wind-energy partner, which is helping the college develop its green-jobs programs.
"This is a tremendous achievement," Bioteau said. "The college is working with UTA and the [Herriman] mayor to make sure as the TRAX line is matured that the campus will be the site of a station."
The Sorenson trustees declined to comment Monday.
"This is a potentially promising opportunity for everyone involved," a spokesman said. "It is premature for them to comment any further at this time as many details have not yet been determined."
SLCC has long looked to fast-growing Herriman to build a beachhead in the southwest corner of the Salt Lake Valley. It currently serves 34,000 students at 13 locations strung from Sandy to Salt Lake City. The proposed campus, on acreage a little larger than Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, would be a southern anchor in the SLCC network, complementing its big Taylorsville and South City hubs.
In a gesture of approval Friday, Regents voted to amend SLCC's Herriman land-bank request to the state Legislature to reflect the $10 million cost reduction. But even at the lower cost of $111,000 an acre for "prime real estate," the Legislature, which convened its 45-day session Monday, will have a hard time coming up with the money, given the state's massive "structural" deficit.
P Salt Lake Community College is seeking $10 million in state funding to acquire 90 acres for a proposed southwest valley hub in Herriman.