St. Augustine historical sites to be taken over by school

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Deteriorating historical sites in St. Augustine will get some much-needed relief while providing students with a hands-on learning experience when management of the properties is handed over to the University of Florida.

"It's an incredible opportunity for the whole university," said Roy Eugene Graham, director of Historic Preservation Programs at UF. "I can't tell you how excited we all are."

UF will take over management of the sites July 1, when new legislation takes effect that will benefit both the city of St. Augustine and UF, said Rep. William Proctor, R-St. Augustine, the main sponsor of the legislation.

UF management of the properties will be a welcome relief to the city of St. Augustine, as its funding has proven inadequate "given the small tax base of the city of St. Augustine and the inadequate income from the properties," according to a report released by the Special Task Force on St. Augustine Historic Preservation.

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