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AGO 1953 No. 481 - February 19, 1953
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

STUDENT UNION BUILDING ‑- STATE COLLEGE OF WASHINGTON BUILDING FUND ‑- BOARD OF REGENTS ‑- CONTRACTOR'S FEES. 

The Board of Regents of Washington State College may use a portion of the appropriation from the State College of Washington building fund for the purpose of paying contractor's fees in connection with the construction of the student union building on the campus.

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                                                                February 19, 1953 

Honorable C. Clement French
President
Washington State College
Pullman, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 481

 Dear Sir:

             The state legislature appropriated $500,000.00 from the State College of Washington building fund to be used for capital outlays, major repairs and betterments.  Chapter 3, Laws 2nd Ex. Sess., 1951, p. 30.  You have inquired whether or not the Board of Regents may use a portion of this appropriation for the payment of contractor's fees in the construction of a student union building on the campus.  You indicate that the balance of the construction cost is to be paid from a Regents' Revenue Bond Issue.

             It is our conclusion that it may.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             Chapter 3, section 1 of the cited appropriation act,supra, reads as follows:

             "The words 'capital outlay,' whenever used in this act, shall mean and include the purchase, condemnation and improvement of land and erection of buildings, including necessary salaries and wages incident thereto."

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            In the second volume of the Governor's Budget for the Thirty-Second Legislature, at page 531, under Account No. 61-A, the Regents petitioned for an appropriation of $1,000,000.00 for the purpose of paying a portion of the cost of a union building for students.  This request was for an appropriation from the General Fund.  It appears that the legislature was not inclined to make that large an appropriation for that purpose at that time.  They did appropriate, however, $500,000.00 from the State College of Washington building fund for capital outlays, major repairs and betterments.  The State College of Washington building fund is derived primarily, if not exclusively, from tuition fees charged the students.  RCW 28.80.040.

             RCW 28.80.130, which lists the powers and duties of the Regents, includes this provision in section 17:  To "direct the disposition of all money appropriated to or belonging to the state college."

             RCW 28.76.180 reads in part as follows:

             "The board of regents of the University of Washington and that of the State College * * * are hereby severally authorized to:

             "(1) Enter into contracts with persons for the erection of buildings for dormitory, hospital, and infirmary, student, faculty and employee housing and boarding purposes, and for student activities;"

             There can be little doubt but that a student union building falls within the definition of a building authorized by the cited statute.  Nor, can there be much doubt that the Regents of the State College have been given authority pursuant to the several sections of the statutes cited above to allocate a portion of the $500,000.00 appropriation for the payment of contractor's fees in connection with the construction of such a building.

 Very truly yours,
 DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General 

ANDY ENGEBRETSEN
Assistant Attorney General

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