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In light of a California Supreme Court ruling released today, San Diego State University might have to pay for infrastructure improvements on the north side of Interstate 8, where it plans to expand its campus.

The ruling mandates that California State University Monterey pay for infrastructure improvements where it is expanding its campus. Before this ruling, CSU schools were precluded under the state constitution from paying for infrastructure improvements in an area where they were doing construction associated with their “core educational mission.” The city where the university is located would pay for the infrastructure costs.

SDSU spokesman Jason Foster said it is still unclear what the costs of doing such improvements would be in SDSU’s case, or if the school will necessarily have to pay for them.

“Were still working with our counsel and CSU general counsel to figure out what impact will be for our campus and specific situation,” Foster said.

The Monterey case has however long been touted by university officials as a benchmark in indicating whether universities have to pay for upgrading roads and other impacts to the environment surrounding campus construction.

SDSU’s Campus Master Plan, which aims to increase enrollment from 25,000 to 35,000 full-time equivalent students by 2025, calls for building a hotel, new classrooms and 540 units of faculty and graduate student housing on the north side of Interstate 8.

Three organizations – the Save Del Cerro Committee, Alvarado Hospital and the city of San Diego – all filed suit against SDSU and the CSU last year citing concerns about the project’s environmental impact report.

City Councilman Jim Madaffer, who represents the SDSU area, sent out a press release today asking the CSU board of trustees and the school to decertify that report.

SAM HODGSON

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