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CSUMB reaches agreement with Marina, FORA on future growth

Sept. 2, 2009

CSU Monterey Bay signed an agreement Sept. 2 with the city of Marina and the Fort Ord Reuse Authority concerning its growth on the former Army base.

The document details how issues of transportation, water and wildlife-habitat mitigation will be handled in the years ahead as CSU Monterey Bay continues to develop as a comprehensive university.

"The completion and signing of this agreement is an historic milestone for all of our organizations and communities," said CSU Monterey Bay President Dianne Harrison in a prepared statement. "I appreciate the fact that FORA and Marina officials understand the importance of CSU Monterey Bay to its region and surrounding communities.

"The contributions the university has made and will make to this area are enormously significant - not only to the economic development of our region but also to the education of its citizens."

The agreement brings to an end more than 10 years of lawsuits and negotiations. The first suit was filed in Monterey Superior Court in 1998. In 2006, the state Supreme Court ruled that CSUMB must negotiate with local governments over paying its fair share whenever campus expansion results in the need to upgrade such things as roads and utilities.

The document clears the way for CSUMB to move ahead with plans for an Institute for Innovation and Economic Development. The proposed institute, a 10,000-square-foot building to be located at the corner of Gen. Jim Moore Boulevard and Divarty Street, will bring together students, faculty members, business people and entrepreneurs to provide training for people trying to start new businesses.

The university and the Monterey County Business Council received an $180,000 federal planning grant last June. The next stage is applying for a construction grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration.

"We are all making a pact, of sorts, to our communities, and to their futures," Dr. Harrison said.

The university's long-term vision for campus development is contained in a Master Plan, supported by an environmental impact report, which was approved in May by the California State University Board of Trustees. The plan, which extends to 2025, envisions on-campus enrollment of up to 8,500 students, compared to about 4,300 today.