Clark property suit settled without final trial

Tessa Duvall

WKU’s ongoing legal dispute with Howard Brown Clark Jr. has come to an end.

The trial to determine the value of the Clark home on 1627 Normal Drive was set to take place Nov. 23 and 24.

But WKU and Clark reached an agreement the Friday before the case was set to go to court, said Deborah Wilkins, chief of staff and general counsel.

Although an agreed order has yet to be signed, Clark agreed to take the $204,000 that WKU previously paid into court for the property, Wilkins said.

WKU used eminent domain to acquire the Clark property in 2008 for the new Ransdell College of Education building. The Clark home was the last property the university needed in order for construction to begin.

WKU first approached Clark about the property in December 2007. At that time, the home was appraised at $152,000.

Clark had the house appraised at more than $300,000. He offered to give WKU a $90,000 gift and would accept the remaining value over the next several years.

If the suit had gone to trial, the jury could have determined the value of the house to be higher or lower than the amount WKU had already paid, Wilkins said.

If the value was determined to be lower, then Clark would have been required to give money back to the university, she said.