Topeka — A House committee on Wednesday approved a bill that authorizes Kansas University and the KU Endowment Association to swap two parcels of land.
Under the proposal, KU would exchange a piece of vacant land it owns adjacent to the Mississippi Street parking garage for Endowment property on 14th Street between Louisiana and Ohio, which contains a parking lot.
Theresa Gordzica, chief business and financial planning officer for KU, said the reason for the bill is that the city of Lawrence is considering the replacement of two water towers that are across the street from the Mississippi Street garage. One option is to construct new, lower profile towers north of the garage on the land currently owned by KU.
If the Endowment owns the land, it will be much easier to negotiate a transaction with the city, Gordzica said. She said if KU keeps the land, then legislative approval would be needed for any sale to the city.
Gordzica said the two parcels of land have been appraised and are of equal value.
The Education Budget Committee approved House Bill 2071, sending it to the full House for consideration.