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REGENTS REJECT PROPOSAL FOR SUMMIT COLLEGE FACILITY

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Residents of Summit County, already the best-educated people in the state, are not clamoring for more college-level courses, higher education officials say.

As a result, a proposal to build a college facility near Park City has been rejected.The Board of Regents, which oversees Utah's nine public colleges and universities, found that demand for higher education is not growing nearly as fast as the population in Summit County.

Classes already offered by the University of Utah and Utah Valley State College at the Park City Library and Education Center are adequate to meet residents' needs, regents decided at their meeting Thursday and Friday at Utah State University.

That finding nixes a proposal by UVSC President Kerry Romes-burg to build a new college center in Summit County's Silver Creek area. Arizona businessman George Johnson had offered to donate land for the facility, which would be part of his Star Pointe development.

"It's nice when somebody wants to donate something, but it has to fit with academic needs," said Phyllis Safman, assistant commissioner of higher education.

Safman said that even if the growth rate remains high, Summit County will have a small population base in 15 years.

Growth projections put the county's population at nearly 28,000 in 2010, up from 15,500 in 1990. While that 12,500 increase is substantial, population is expected to grow by nearly 90,000 in Davis County, 57,000 in Washington County, 100,500 in Utah County and 300,000 in Salt Lake County.

Survey results contained in the assessment showed that Summit County residents do not mind commuting for college-level classes. The survey also found that residents prefer graduate-level courses, probably because many already have a bachelor's degree. In fact, the 1990 Census ranks Summit County No. 1 in the state for percentage of residents over age 25 with associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees.

Although regents found Summit County's higher education needs are already being met, they did recommend that another needs assessment of the area be conducted in two to four years.