The University of Toledo Foundation has approved spending $700,000 on a piece of property along Dorr Street, where an old greenhouse stands, as a way of expanding space open to the university.
There are no specific plans for the 6.36 acres at 3600 Dorr St., owned by the Bettinger family. But it is just west of the main Bancroft campus and could be used for a variety of purposes, said Brenda Lee, foundation president.
“We're pretty much landlocked,” Ms. Lee said. “Right now, opportunities for purchasing that kind of property - of that size, close to the university - are few and far between.”
The foundation board voted on the matter during its meeting yesterday. Ms. Lee said the purchase agreement needs to be finalized.
Budgets across the university and the foundation are tight, but officials said they could pay for the property by dipping into the foundation's $6 million in unrestricted funds and by using proceeds from the expected sale of a piece of property.
The Kuhlman Corp., a construction products firm in Maumee, has secured an option to buy 3.5 acres the foundation owns in Arrowhead Park.
The foundation board in its meeting yesterday approved a price of $175,000 an acre for the property at 1805 Indian Wood Circle if the option is exercised. The land was donated in the mid 1990s and has not been used, Ms. Lee said.
“Essentially, we're exchanging assets,” said William Decatur, UT vice president for finance, technology, and operations. “An asset out at Arrowhead for an asset close to campus.”
All this is in line with the university's overall planning efforts, Mr. Decatur said.
“As we undertake our facility master planning right now and look at the utilization of space on our existing campus, it's filling up,” he said.
“If the university grows, we're going to need, at some point in the future, opportunities for expansion. The area along Dorr Street is one of the few areas where there is low-density development.”
He said one leading possibility for the site, located on the north side of Dorr and west of Secor Road, is a home for a greenhouse as part of a federal research grant.
Area residents are concerned about an influx of students, particularly if the land ever is used for student housing.
In other business, the foundation agreed to spend $410,000 over five years to support travel, supplies, and other elements of the upcoming capital campaign.
That's less than the $1 million it donated to the last campaign because it does not include personnel costs. The foundation's contribution will be paid back through unrestricted gifts to the campaign, Ms. Lee said.
The board also added five members: Elizabeth Brady, vice president at Plastic Technologies, Inc.; Milton Knight, founder and chief executive officer of New Waste Concepts and Total Maintenance & Coatings and president of Thunderbird Enterprises, Inc.; Susan Palmer, education coordinator at the Toledo Museum of Art; Jeff Smith, of the law firm Thompson Hine, LLP, and Dr. Lance Talmage, medical director of the Center for Women's Health at Toledo Hospital.