UWA Committee Proposes Settlement with Capstone

A controversy between the University of West Alabama and Capstone Corporation of Birmingham has been settled.

Capstone had claimed UWA owed it more than $5 million for canceling a dormitory project.

For almost two hours the executive committee of the University of West Alabama Board of Trustees met in executive session Tuesday before unanimously approving an $850,000 settlement with Capstone Corporation.

Previously, UWA officials said the dormitory project was too expensive during a time of budget cuts. According to UWA president, Dr. Richard Holland, that's not what stopped the project.

"Oh, no. It had nothing to do with the money," said Holland. "It's just a disagreement on what they said they would do versus what we wanted. It's a 2 and a half year project we've been working on. I'm just glad it's behind us and I'm glad we'll move forward."

With almost 5,200 students now and enrollment steadily climbing, UWA officials say new dorms are needed, primarily to improve the quality of life for students who live on campus.

Speith and Selden halls were built in the 1960s and officials say they need to be replaced soon. University officials say the new dorms would be more modern with more privacy, have a community room and computer room, and washers and dryers in each dorm.

"I think that would be a nice addition to the campus," said Preston Penn, Speith Hall resident.

"The dorms are outdated, put it that way and not that much light," said Kristen Barton, who lives in Selden Hall. "You have to turn on every single one of your lamps and all your lights just to be able to study."

When the full Board of Trustees meets June 7, not only is it expected to vote on whether or not to officially accept the proposed settlement with Capstone but is also expected to start taking steps to address the need for at least two new dorms.

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