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      Ohio State trustees approve $483M parking plan

      By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS

      COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State University trustees have approved a proposal to lease school parking operations for $483 million to an Australian company over a 50-year contract. The university says the money once invested will raise billions in earnings to hire more faculty, provide more student aid, support the arts and humanities and pay for the university's bus services.

      Under the plan to lease parking operations to Queensland, Australia-based QIC Global Infrastructure, the university would maintain ownership of its parking garages and spaces, which total more than 35,000 spaces. The company's U.S. partner in the deal would be Hartford, Conn.-based LAZ Parking. Ohio State President Gordon Gee says the lease is necessary to provide revenue for Ohio State at a time of declining public funding.