The city is appealing a decision by a Superior Court judge that the University of Washington doesn’t have to follow the city’s landmarks preservation law.

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The city of Seattle is appealing a decision by a King County Superior Court judge over whether the city’s landmarks preservation law applies to the university.

The lawsuit revolved around the fate of More Hall Annex, a small building on the Seattle campus that once housed a nuclear reactor. The university wants to demolish the building to make way for a new computer science center building, but preservationists say the building has historical significance and is protected by the city’s landmark preservation ordinance.

Last month, a judge ruled that the UW does not have to follow the preservation ordinance. Judge Suzanne Parisien wrote that state institutions of higher education play an important public purpose, and that purpose requires their campuses to be developed to meet the state’s growing and changing educational needs.

Seattle is pursuing an appeal because the decision “questions the ground rules governing the city’s important relationship with UW,” said Roger Wynne, assistant city attorney. He said the city always expected that the issue would ultimately need to be resolved by an appeals court.