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Arizona Board of Regents approves deferred maintenance project, in-state tuition for veterans, land acquisitions

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Michelle Tomaszkowicz | The Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Board of Regents await comments from the public at their meeting on April 6 in the Grand Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center. The regents met at Northern Arizona University during their June meeting to approve budgets and strategic plans. 

The Arizona Board of Regents approved multiple UA movements, including deferred maintenance repairs, a copyright lawsuit and several land acquisitions at their latest board meeting at Northern Arizona University June 8.

The first deferred maintenance project the university will focus on is the Veterinary Science and Microbiology Building located at 1117 E. Lowell St.

The more than 50-year-old building has been in need of repair, with some occupants having cited respiratory problems.

As of January 2017, UA has a deferred maintenance cost of $131 million. This project is part of the university's $307.5 million capital development plan for the fiscal year 2018, partially funded by the new university bond program approved by the governor earlier this year.

The 59,914 square-foot structure built in 1966 will receive $18 million for renovations.

The building’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning units and plumbing are among the nine areas of concern that will be upgraded.

RELATED: UA maintains $131 million in deferred maintenance of old buildings

The renovation will begin in July and is scheduled for completion by June 2018.

The Board also approved enacting emergency litigation targeting trademark infringement of the university logo.

UA alleges an Arizona company called Scumdevils LLC is using the UA logo in apparel sold online. It filed litigation against the company in U.S. District Court on April 28.

Laura Todd Johnson, senior vice president for legal affairs and general counsel at UA, spoke about the case against Scumdevils, LLC during the meeting.

"The university could not allow this to go unchallenged,” Johnson said. "This would put at risk the university’s ownership and protection of its trademarks, so we also consider the reputational risks and issues here."

UA also received multiple approvals for the acquisition of land and the ability to sell unused land. The university will acquire all five parcels of land for which it asked.

The university acquired 67,476 square feet  of land for $8.775 million north of the UA Cancer Center in Phoenix. The land provided a unique opportunity for the university as cited in the agenda material.

"Ownership of this block will allow for the UA to strategically plan for significant growth of UA Phoenix, including space for office, educational and other university uses that are distinctive from the medical and research missions of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus," according to board documents.

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The UA will also be able to sell 582 acres of unused land, on which there were no plans to develop. Some of that land will go to Sierrita Gas Pipeline, LCC, which will purchase 11.5 acres for a compressor station on a natural gas pipeline.

The UA negotiated a price of $110,000 for the land.

Earlier this year, the state legislature passed a law providing in-state tuition to veterans. The board approved a policy revision regarding the tuition change.

"Such an individual shall be granted immediate classification as an in-state student and, while continuously enrolled, does not lose in-state student classification if the individual has demonstrated objective evidence of intent to be a resident of Arizona," the board's new policy reads.

In 2016, federal law was modified to increase the number of categories within the policy so that more student veterans would be covered by it.


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