An agenda item was added to the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees meeting to authorize negotiation to sell the West Hartford campus property to a private buyer on Wednesday.
Weiming Educational Group (WEG) is looking to purchase the property for an international high school when UConn leaves the property to move to downtown Hartford for fall 2017, Stephanie Reitz, UConn spokesperson, said in an email.
The parties have agreed upon a $12,600, 000 sale, according to a press release from Scott Jordan, Executive Vice President for Administration and CFO, but the parties have not yet signed the binding letter of intent.
“The Town of West Hartford [the ‘town’] has the statutory right to match those material terms and buy the property for the town. In addition, the town may still be interested in buying the property on different terms or if the sale to WEG does not close,” the press release read.
Jordan’s recommendations outlined in the press release are that the Board of Trustees authorize UConn to notify the town of the possible sale, and if the town wishes to purchase the land, they must negotiate prices. Also, the administration recommends that the Board of Trustees execute the sale to WEG.
On Nov. 18, 2015, the Board of Trustees authorized UConn to notify the town of its intent to sell the West Hartford branch, the release said. The town responded on Jan. 15, 2015 that it wished to purchase the property.
“The town and the university engaged in discussions concerning the terms under which the town would purchase the property, and those discussions are continuing, but they did not conclude by March 15, 2016. The university is now free to sell to another buyer,” the release stated.
WEG publically expressed interest in Feb. 2016, the release noted, and UConn has been exploring that option ever since, resulting in their current, non-binding agreement.
UConn is required to offer the property to the town for a second time, by statute, at the same selling price as WEG, $12,600,000.
If the town declines, UConn can go forward with plans to sell to WEG. If for some reason WEG declines the sale, the town will have the opportunity again to purchase the property.
WEG has until Dec. 31, 2016 to receive the state and the town’s approval of the sale.
UConn will use the funds from the sale, the press release said, for capital projects.
WEG is a world leading international private education school, and China’s largest school sector, with 40,000 students and 42 campuses, according to an email written by Tim DiScipio, WEG CEO. Their interest in acquiring this property is to open a high school serving American, Asian, European and South American students.
Emma Krueger is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.