Final Four in Presidential Library Race Give Reasons To Be Chosen - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Final Four in Presidential Library Race Give Reasons To Be Chosen

David Miller says West Texas gave the selection committee a proposal they can't refuse, but the competition is tight. Tonight we take a look at why Baylor, SMU, and the University of Dallas are saying they, too, are the best choice.

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The first, most obvious difference between Texas Tech and the other three universities is that they are all religious-based schools. David Miller, chairman of the West Texas Coalition says, "Tech being the only public school left among the 4 finalists, really gives us an advantage to our university because of access. This is a public institution, it needs to be in a public place."

We start with finalist number one; Southern Methodist University in Dallas. According to the Dallas Morning News, SMU is known as the "front-runner" for the library. The top reason the Mustangs made the final four is Laura Bush. Laura, along with her husband, will get a final vote on the library's location. Her ties to SMU date back to 1968 when she earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education. She was elected to the board of trustees, named a distinguished alumni and has her own sitting garden. George W. also kicked off his presidential campaign at SMU and he, along with his mother and father, Dick Cheney, and Colin Powell all have ties to the university.

Chancellor Robert Sloan of Baylor says, "we were very honored to be in the final four and I think to be in the final steps has been amazing because we have been involved for 5 years." Baylor, another location option, has been planning its proposal longer than any other of the final four. They say the bears, located in Waco, would be a good choice because of their proximity to the Bush's Crawford ranch.

Also, Baylor began their proposal five years ago before Bush was even elected. Baylor also has a garden dedicated to Laura Bush. And says they have 108 acres of land on the Brazos river for the library. The Chancellor says, "I think each proposal has its own strengths... But no matter what this will be a great thing for Texas."

And third we've got, the University of Dallas. Behind West Texas, U.D. was also a latecomer, but they do have 22 months of planning invested in their proposal. They also say they would be chosen because they're close to the ranch. And they, like Tech, have donated a 300-acre site named Freedom Park for the library's location.

The competition sounds tough, but David Miller says after the oral presentations, he feels confident that West Texas has a fighting chance. "As the selection committee left the room we had a great feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction among the entire presentation team."

The selection committee will take the next five-to-six months to consider the proposals. But before the announcement is made, the President and Laura Bush will make the final decision.

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What if one building could brings millions of tourism dollars and visitors from all over the world right here to Lubbock? Well that's exactly what one group is working to do tonight. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel has been following the story, and takes our viewers inside the George Bush Library.

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