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Interim committee to look at UND REAC building purchase

A Legislative interim committee will be looking at last year’s sale of a research building at UND.

The Research Enterprise and Commercialization building – known as “REAC”  – was sold by the non-profit UND Research Foundation to UND. The price: $9.8 million. The Foundation is led by UND officials.

The building is designed to be a “technology accelerator” for emerging companies – and it offers commercial and academic labs for lease. Just over half the available space has been leased.

"WE want to find out how the REAC building was originally designed, how it's being used, how this refinancing came about," said Rep. Jeff Delzer (R-Underwood), the chairman of the interim Government Finance Committee. "Part of a bill in the last session allowed the Board of HIgher Education to do some refinancing on it. But there are some questions -- whether the Board made a motion, or it was done otherwise. We have to look at that."

Delzer says the committee will also look at current usage -- and what it will cost the state in the future.

UND and University System representatives say the welcome the study – and they say the sale was handled properly. University System interim Chancellor Larry Skogen says the 2013 Legislature authorized UND to buy the REAC building outright.

“The state Board of Higher Education had, in January 2013, delegated the authority to the Chancellor to approve the process and any agreement UND came up with," said Skogen. "We have dotted all the "Is" and crossed all the "Ts" on that."

A UND representative says the University paid market value for the REAC building.

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