Salina Area Technical College will look a lot different in just a few weeks. The college has formally taken ownership of its campus land and buildings from the Salina School District, effective July 1.
When the college became independent of the school district in 2009, the campus and its buildings remained the property of the district. Ownership was to have transferred to the college in 2018, but legal issues related to groundwater contamination under the old airbase kept that from happening until now.
In addition, the district is transferring ownership of the Salina Adult Education Center, located just south of the campus, along with roughly two acres of land and an additional parking lot. The district will lease the Adult Education Center building back from Salina Tech for 10 years, with an option to renew the lease for an additional 10 years. Overall, the campus covers just over 24 acres.
“USD 305 and Salina Area Technical College have been working toward this transition for years. The leadership at Salina Tech has made it a priority to develop strong programming to support the needs of our community. We’re glad to see this day come and appreciate our working relationship with SATC that made it possible.” said Linn Exline, Superintendent of Salina Public Schools. “The land upon which Salina Tech’s campus is located should be owned by Salina Tech.”
The lease agreement was approved at Monday’s meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees, which also approved a contract with Diehl Enterprises of Salina for demolition of Building G on campus – unofficially known as the “Blue Building.”. In the 1980s and 1990s, the building housed Salina Tech’s Automotive Technology and Diesel Technology programs. After new buildings for those programs were completed in the early 2000s, it was used for storage and then abandoned entirely about two years ago because of structural issues.
Demolition is scheduled to begin in mid-July and be finished by the end of the month.
“This project will definitely improve our ‘curb appeal,’” said Salina Tech President Greg Nichols. “When people drive by the campus on Centennial, that blue building is what they notice. It will also free up much-needed space for more student parking. It is our desire to make Salina Tech a first-choice destination for students.”