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(DAILY_WILDCAT)

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By Bryon Wells
Arizona Daily Wildcat
November 13, 1997

MEChA faces foes for north campus property

A UA Hispanic student action group may have some competition for a vacant north campus building they pegged as a possible site for a Chicano dorm and community center.

Tucson real estate agent Susan Cipponeri said she has received many inquiries about the Beal Student Center - from Greek organizations to African American student groups.

"I've had too many offers to list," said Cipponeri, who works at Long Realty Co., which is trying to sell the property.

Josu┌eacute; Lim¸n, president of the UA chapter of Movimiento Estudiantil de Chicanos de AtzlŻn, said his group will try to buy the property.

Cipponeri said the Beal Center, at East Second Street and North Mountain Avenue, is in a key location and has a $650,000 price tag. The property includes 0.36 of an acre of land and has a 44-vehicle parking lot.

The two-story building is 4,170-square feet and has living quarters, a meeting room and kitchen.

"It is enough of an investment that university entities would need to go through some sort of board to obtain the property," she said.

Private investors would be free to purchase the Beal Center without a board decision, she said.

MEChA President Lim¸n said that is exactly the route that Chicano students plan to take.

According to Lim¸n, the club hopes to raise the money through "various efforts," including fund-raising events. They will also ask Tucson Hispanic business community leaders for help.

Lim¸n said Alonzo Morado, a Wells Fargo Bank executive, and Frank Felix of the UA Hispanic Alumni office will meet with MEChA next week to discuss the issue.

Morado and Felix could not be reached for comment yesterday afternoon.

MEChA would use the Beal Center as a Chicano dorm/community center, Lim¸n said.

"(Chicano) high school students could come to campus and get exposure to the university level," he said.

It would be a place to give Chicano students a connection with the Hispanic community, and give the community a connection with the University, he added.

The property has been owned by the First Baptist Church since it was built in 1968, and is being sold because it has outlived its purpose, said Beal Student Center Director Kasey Snaschall.

"There is a smaller congregation today," she said. "We're trying to be better stewards with our money."


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