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WSU Regents approve airport land acquisition offer

By Phil Weiler, WSU Marketing and Communication

moscow pullman airportPULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University Board of Regents today unanimously approved the sale of university-owned land to the Pullman Moscow Regional Airport for $14,772,750. The sale of this property will allow the airport to continue the re-alignment of the airport runway.

The land in question currently houses the WSU’s Terre View Research Facility. The Regents also unanimously approved a motion to relocate the Research Facility at today’s meeting.

The Pullman Moscow Regional Airport has been planning a re-alignment of its runway to increase width and length of the runway to bring into compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. The runway’s new alignment puts the Runway Protection Zone over research facilities owned by the university.

Programs affected include:

  • Intramural U.S. Department of Agriculture research.
  • College of Veterinary Medicine research.
  • Tukey Orchard.
  • Animal Sciences for the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.
Pullman_Moscow Airport DOT photo runway
Moscow-Pullman Airport current runway. Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Transportation.

In total, work conducted at the research facilities has generated more than $90 million in research funding since 2006.

Upon successful conclusion to negotiations on land acquisition and relocation costs, the university intends to construct and relocate impacted animal research programs and support facilities to Tula Young Hastings Farm, and Tukey Orchard functions to Spillman Farm. Both properties are currently owned by the university. The final settlement amount could vary by up to $300,000 depending on final inventory of special improvements.

The airport prepared an appraisal and relocation study, which determined the fair market value of land to be acquired for the runway realignment program. An offer was presented to WSU in March 2016. WSU prepared an independent appraisal and presented a counter offer to the airport. The airport and the university have since been in negotiations about ways to move the runway project forward while protecting the affected research.

WSU has worked collaboratively with the airport in support of the runway realignment project. WSU provided a temporary construction easement necessary for phase 1 of the project; provided a use permit allowing the airport to construct a haul road on university property; renegotiated a lease with the Department of Transportation whereby WSU voluntarily relinquished a portion of a leasehold to allow for permitting and construction of a haul road; and, most recently, executed an electrical transmission easement in favor of Avista, in order to save the project from significant delay without immediate compensation.


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