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October 14, 1970
Honorable Nat W. Washington
State Senator, 13th District
42 C Street N.W.
Ephrata, Washington 98823
Cite as: AGLO 1970 No. 130
This is written in response to your recent letter requesting our opinion upon a question pertaining to the status of the South Campus of Big Bend Community College, upon its ceasing to be used for community college purposes.
As you perhaps are already aware, title to this real property together with all of the equipment, buildings, facilities and appurtenances thereto, passed from the Moses Lake School District to the State Board for Community Colleges several years ago, under the provisions of § 30, chapter 8, Laws of 1967, Ex. Sess., ‑ commonly known as the Community College Act of 1967. This statute, now codified as RCW 28B.50.300, reads in material part as follows:
"Title to or all interest in real estate, choses in action and all other assets, including but not limited to . . . equipment, buildings, facilities, and appurtenances thereto held as of the date of passage of this act by or for a school district and obtained identifiably with federal, state or local funds appropriated for community college purposes or post-high school vocational educational purposes, or used or obtained with funds budgeted for community college purposes or post-high school vocational educational purposes, or used or obtained primarily for community college or vocational educational purposes, shall, on the date on which the first board of trustees of each district takes office, vest in or be assigned to the state board for community college education: . . ."
However, our examination of the applicable statutes reveals no provision for any sort of reversion of title to such property as this from the state board for community colleges to any school district when and if the property ceases to be used for community college purposes. In other words, it appears from the statutes that the "transfer," or conveyance from the school district to the state board for community colleges, as contemplated by RCW 28B.50.300, supra, [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] was in fee simple absolute without any retention of a reversionary interest by the school district.
Accordingly, in direct answer to your question, it is our opinion that title to the property in question will remain vested in the state board for community colleges, irrespective of its continued use for community college purposes, until and unless the state board disposes of the property in some manner authorized by law.1/
We trust that the foregoing will be of some assistance to you.
Very truly yours,
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Philip H. Austin
Assistant Attorney General
*** FOOTNOTES ***
1/In this connection, we understand and should advise you that negotiations are currently under way between the state board for community colleges, represented by the division of lease and property of the state department of general administration, and the Moses Lake School District with respect to the future uses to be made of the area in question.