THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1994, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Friday, November 4, 1994 TAG: 9411040722 SECTION: LOCAL PAGE: B7 EDITION: FINAL SOURCE: BY LEE BANVILLE, CAMPUS CORRESPONDENT DATELINE: WILLIAMSBURG LENGTH: Medium: 63 lines
State officials have proposed selling College Woods and Lake Matoaka, a 540-acre parcel owned by the College of William and Mary.
The plan, from the Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission in Richmond, has drawn vehement opposition from students, professors and administrators. On Wednesday night, more than 600 people attended a rally to oppose the proposal.
``I pledge to fight with every breath in my body any proposal that would desecrate what I consider to be a natural jewel which enhances the college and community,'' said George Grayson, a professor of government and a member of the House of Delegates.
Gov. George F. Allen said in an interview that he has not yet made a decision. ``That piece of land, like others, will be evaluated for its use and justification,'' Allen said during a conference in Williamsburg this week. ``It is premature and inaccurate to say that the land is for sale.''
To help pare down government and pay for more prisons, the legislative commission recently issued a report listing parcels totaling 6,800 acres of ``undeveloped'' land and 30 buildings that might be transferred to other state agencies or sold for profit.
Philip Leone, director of the commission, said the college property was added to the list because of its ambiguous designation by the college.
``The land is hanging out there being used for a variety of uses, but with no official status,'' Leone said. ``The college needs to officially designate what it wants to do with the land.''
But President Timothy J. Sullivan said of the woods: ``They are as much a part of William and Mary as the Wren Building. The college uses the woods and Lake Matoaka extensively for classes in biology, geology, kinesiology and military science.''
Junior Maya Larson said Wednesday night, ``The report really fails to take into account the intrinsic value of the land to the college. We've all walked in those woods or biked in them or simply enjoyed the lake. It really adds to the entire experience and standard of living at the college.''
Student body president Greg Werkheiser helped organize the forum.
``It is essential,'' he said, ``that the message be sent very clearly to the governor and the commission that there are thousands of members of the college community, local community and alumni around the state who are adamantly opposed to the proposals.'' by CNB