DATC looking elsewhere for Morgan entrepreneurial center

Oct 25 2010 - 11:32pm

MORGAN -- After three years of negotiations, a proposed entrepreneurial center sponsored by Davis Applied Technology College has experienced a setback.

"Negotiations between the Morgan School District and DATC have ended," said Morgan Superintendent Ken Adams. "We were not able to come to an agreement. It is unfortunate, but we gave it our best shot."

The DATC has long eyed Morgan School District property on State Street as a prime location for the entrepreneurial center. The district's bus shop currently occupies the two acres of commercial property nestled between well-established businesses, but the district has plans to begin construction of a new bus garage at another location.

Although both parties initially agreed on putting the entrepreneurial center there, moving forward would have threatened federal and state funding for the project. Because the district's long-term goal is to locate district offices and adult education facilities on the property, the school board never offered to sell the land to DATC.

Negotiations were to lease the land for up to 30 years, at which time the district would assume the land and any building the DATC placed there. Another option included the DATC's use of district property, including demolishing the bus garage, adding infrastructure and placing portables on the property just until another location could be secured.

It seems that federal and state officials are dubious about funding a project requiring cooperation between several parties, Adams said. Instead, officials prefer that the DATC owns and manages its own property.

"The state would not allow the DATC to spend grant money on a temporary solution. Both parties were disappointed in the state's stand," Adams said. "We have a very positive and workable relationship with the DATC, and we continue working with them on their entrepreneurial center wherever possible."

"That's a shame," said school board member Bruce Galbraith. "It took the wind right out of the sails."

Although DATC officials are saddened by the setback, they are determined to move forward.

"The last thing we want to do is abandon the project in Morgan," said Francie Mecham, DATC Foundation director.

"We are working to find another location to become part of the economic growth of Morgan."

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