Topeka — Kansas University officials came to the Legislature on Wednesday seeking permission to sell a piece of property on Indiana Street.
What they got was some sniping from lawmakers and concerns from Oread Neighborhood Association.
After the give-and-take before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Sen. Mark Taddiken, R-Clifton, said the issue "makes me appreciate where I live."
Senate Bill 638 would allow the Kansas Board of Regents, on behalf of KU, to sell Varsity House, 1043 Ind.
The structure was built in 1900 and converted from a residence to offices in 1950.
Now it is in such disrepair that it would cost $600,000 to fix, said Theresa Gordzica, KU's chief business and financial planning officer.
That set off state Sen. Chris Steineger, D-Kansas City, who said the repair estimate was way too high.
"They are not good at this," he said of the regents' ability to assess properties.
State Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, appeared before the committee as a board member of the Oread Neighborhood Association.
While the association doesn't oppose the sale, she said, it was concerned about whether the structure could be rehabilitated without additional parking.
That prompted a discussion about parking concerns in Lawrence, which prompted the remark from Taddiken.
Toward the end of the discussion, Gordzica agreed with a suggestion from Francisco to include in the property sale several nearby lots, which include a small KU parking lot.
The committee took the bill under advisement.