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Drama-causing "reverter clause" removed from Poly contract

The pesky "reverter clause" attached to the Florida Polytechnic land donation contract that caused such a stir a couple weeks ago is gone, said Board of Governors member Mori Hosseini.

The clause had stipulated that the land donated for to the school formerly known as University of South Florida Polytechnic would return to the donor, the Williams Company, if the land was used for anything other than higher education. The issue came up in a conference call updating the board on the transfer of USF Poly assets to the new Florida Polytechnic University -- which is still awaiting the creation of a governing board.

The seemingly innocuous request was blasted by Hosseini, who said that he was prepared to halt construction on the greenfield site if the clause wasn't removed.

On Thursday, he had good news.

"We negotiated hard," Hosseini said, and the clause is gone. He gave credit to Charlie Gray, the Williams Company's lawyer, for helping sort it out.

Gray belongs to the firm that also represented an effort a few years ago by Sen. JD Alexander to build a road through central Florida called the Heartland Parkway. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, used his final term in the legislature to speed up the creation of Florida Polytechnic as the state's 12th university.