Idaho Ed Board OKs UI’s purchase of McCall campus

The Idaho State Board of Education has unanimously approved the University of Idaho’s purchase of its McCall campus for $6.1 million.

The campus, located along the shore of Payette Lake adjacent to Ponderosa State Park, is currently endowment land managed by the state Land Board, which has leased it to UI for 65 years.  The site includes the university’s forestry camp and other education programs through its College of Natural Resources.

The Land Board raised the lease rate this year from about $50,000 a year to some $250,000, prompting the university’s decision to buy the land.

Developed over the last several years, the complex transaction includes a land exchange. A private party plans to acquire the property from the state through a land swap for commercial property, and then sell it to UI at its current appraised value of $6.1 million.

The university plans to draw on its internal reserves to cover acquisition costs, and then reimburse the reserves from a future bond issue. It also is fundraising, and hoping to reduce the size of the future bond issue with major gifts.  UI expects to end up saving money on the deal, because its debt service on the bond should be less than the $250,000 annual lease payments.  (The Spokeman Review)

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