Methodists Approve Leasing SMU Land for Bush Library

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A Methodist council has given its blessing for Southern Methodist University to lease land for George W. Bush's presidential library.

It's one of the last steps the school needed before officially sealing the long-awaited library deal.

The South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church voted 10-4 yesterday, with one member abstaining. The group must approve leasing any land already in use by the school, and the proposed 36-acre site on the southeast side of campus contains some dorms and a parking lot.

It also contains a now-razed condominium complex SMU bought -- which caused two of the owners to sue -- but has not yet used.

In his presentation to the church council at a Dallas hotel, SMU President R. Gerald Turner said the library, museum and Bush institute may be built on one of two sites in the area. He says the president's site selection committee wanted to have options.