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University of Akron School Property Deal Shows Your Legislators in Action

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Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 4:27 PM

When the University of Akron wanted to acquire an unused Akron high school without paying cash-money, the college's general counsel went to talk to their state rep. A little while later  -- voila! -- HB 381 appears.

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The bill's primary sponsor, Rep. Lynn Slaby, R-Copley, told the Akron Beacon Journal the bill was introduced specifically so the university could trade scholarships for qualified Akron high school graduates in return for the 230,000-square-foot high school, which is currently appraised at about $13 million:

Slaby said he custom-designed the bill for his Akron constituents at the request of UA general counsel Ted Mallo and later learned of similar situations in Bowling Green and Toledo to which the bill would apply.

But apparently no one told university president Luis Proenza that. We asked him yesterday if HB 381 was tailor-made for the University of Akron. His answer:

"No, it's tailor-made for anyone that wants to pursue it."

[audio href="" title="University president: Bill wasn't 'tailor-made' for Akron"]Bill would give college first dibs on building.[/audio]

Slaby said today he expects the bill to go through another round of testimony and then it'll be up to House Education Committee Chair Gerald Stebelton, R-Lancaster, on whether the bill moves out of committee.

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