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BOOSTERS FEAR A SETBACK IN THEIR DRIVE TO ESTABLISH DAVIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE

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Davis County community college boosters fear they have been dealt a setback by Gov. Mike Leavitt, who has asked for a complete site analysis.

In his letter to Neal Stowe, director of the state Division of Facilities Construction and Man-age-ment, Leavitt also requested a rundown on the proposed campus and any alternative uses of the land if not used for a school.Stowe's office is in charge of operating all state buildings, including those on college campuses.

"This is a hurdle we hadn't anticipated," Lloyd Carr, site selection committee chairman, said of the letter. "I see that letter as almost saying, `I don't want you to go ahead with this.' "

For more than two years, a grass-roots effort to bring a college to the northern Utah county has been supported by local mayors, members of the Bountiful and Layton chambers of commerce and representatives of Weber State University and the University of Utah.

Backers have identified six possible 100-acre sites for the project and received $1 million from the Legislature to secure the land.

Leavitt's letter has left members of the Davis Higher Education Center board with questions, but the governor has been out of the country this week and unavailable to answer them.

Carr fears Leavitt wants county students to get their degrees via television hookups to Weber or the U.

Charlie Johnson, Leavitt's chief of staff, said board members shouldn't jump to conclusions.

The governor has not ruled out the school; he just wants county officials to answer his questions, he said.

Phyllis Safman, assistant commissioner with the state Board of Regents, said county leaders have a few higher-education options to consider while waiting for the governor's approval.

The Davis County college could become an expansion of the current Higher Education Center, which serves as a registration clearinghouse for Weber State, the University of Utah, Utah State University and Salt Lake Community College.

Or the school could be an extension of one of the other universities or the Davis Applied Technology Center.