- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

BLAIR, Neb. (AP) - Construction workers are making repairs at the former campus of Dana College in Blair, even though the future of the property is uncertain.

The campus has been closed since 2010 because an accreditation body refused to approve its sale to for-profit investors. Omaha developer Frank Krejci bought the property three years ago for the expansion of Fremont’s Midland University, but the university dropped those plans in March.

Krejci is willing to donate the property for the right use, he told the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1ZiQIfs ).

“I can be very generous,” he said.

The City of Blair is being cautious with Krejci’s offer. Even if the property were donated, the city would have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to mow the grass, move the snow and pay utilities, City Administrator Rod Storm said.

Current utility and maintenance bills for the empty campus cost about $250,000 a year, Krejci said.

“The question becomes, how much can a community of 8,000 (people) afford?” Storm asked.

Blair officials plan to soon send literature on the property to colleges across the country.

Mayor Jim Realph said he wants the campus to remain an educational center, but added, “I’m kind of resigned to the fact that may not happen.”

The campus had been considered to house a new $5.2 million library in Blair, but a different location was selected.

Other uses suggested for the campus have yet to materialize, including a renewable energy institute. The institute’s founder and Krejci haven’t come to an agreement on price, and the founder said in April that he also is looking elsewhere in the greater Omaha area.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com


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