McKinney Tract Sought to Expand Campus

There’s a feature article at Today@Sam with the latest in the "McKinney Tract" acquisition soap-opera and the startling revelation discovered only recently. First some background on the university’s recent push to annex the land:
It is generally believed [Vice President of Appropriation] Hal Whenten first read about the property in a Houstonian article that appeared last December as part of the paper’s centennial celebration.

Though the city of Huntsville reportedly knew of no such property, Whenten reportedly attended a number of city council meetings earlier in the year to drum up support for the university’s pending bid.

Whenten’s memorable address during the last (March 18) Huntsville City Council meeting included his exposition on the tribulations of a land-locked campus and the delivery of “signed and notarized documents, prospective maps, and copies of government code regulations” as well as other ephemera that expounded on the university’s decision to acquire the land “at any cost” – be it through either purchase, condemnation, eminent domain, compulsory resumption, or subliminal persuasion techniques.

Andrew "Andy" T. McKinney, believed to be the landowner, has yet to come forward to confirm the status of his property.

Recent developments from late yesterday:
Whenten apologized for the confusion when it was revealed the “McKinney Tract” was roughly a twelve acre parcel of land centralized around main campus – including a prominent sloping, grassy hill south of the current Estill Building – that the university has owned since April 1913.


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