Plan To Sell K-State Land Includes Preserving History Of Bluemont

Pat Melgares,

KSU News Coordinator

Officials at Kansas State University say plans to sell land near College Avenue and Claflin Road in Manhattan includes a project to preserve the historical significance of Bluemont College, the precursor to the university.

Marc Johnson, the Dean of Agriculture at K-State, said local citizens have expressed concern regarding the historical significance of land the university wants to sell near the corner of the two roads.

Johnson said that in view of the landís standing as the original site of Bluemont College, and the importance of that to both the Manhattan community and K-State, the university will build a small area at the southeast corner of the site, retaining the current stone monument. The site also will include an outdoor historical description of the role of Bluemont College.

K-State officials say that walkways, stone benches and monuments at the original site will enhance public access to historical information and serve as a visitorís attraction.

"I have been reminded of two things in the past week," Dean Johnson said. "First, we all should realize the importance of news reporting and public discussion to enrich the quality of results in implementing changes related to public property. Second, all of us should value living in a community where the citizens appreciate their history.

"The result of the week-long discussion is an opportunity to move ahead on the sale of most of the land while setting aside a small

part to give greater recognition to the historical importance of the site than it has received in the last century."

Johnson credited K-State President Jon Wefald for helping develop the solution. Wefald said he agrees with Johnson that the university should work to preserve the very important history of Bluemont College

"Bluemont College is a vital part of the history of Kansas State University," Wefald said. "I strongly recommend that a part of the land on the southeast corner be used forever so that people will always remember that this is land where K-State started."