Rowan University buys Intermediate School from Glassboro School District for $3.4M

Glassboro School District said Tuesday that it sold its 92-year-old Intermediate School to Rowan University for $3.4 million.

The New Jersey Department of Education approved the sale of the Intermediate School in December 2021. The sale became final Monday.

“We, like other surrounding school districts, have seen a slow but steady decline in student enrollment,” Glassboro Public Schools Superintendent Mark Silverstein said. “A goal in our school district’s 2021 strategic plan was to consolidate students to optimize space, facilitate educational programs and enhance cost efficiency.”

Rowan was approached last spring about purchasing the building, a move that will save the district approximately $175,000 a year in operating and maintenance costs and will generate $3.4 million for the school district on the sale itself.

The Glassboro Intermediate School is a Georgian Colonial-style, three-story, 79,891-square-foot brick building that currently serves approximately 270 students. The 9.52-acre lot also includes a one-story brick annex with classrooms and an older, wood-frame building used for storage.

Rowan is in the process of developing its plans for the Glassboro Intermediate School, but the presence of the music room and adjacent field make it a suitable site for the expansion of the Rowan Community Music School and will allow Rowan to broaden that program’s reach. In addition, Rowan intends to move administrative offices into the space, freeing space on campus for student-related activities.

Ali Houshmand. (File photo)

“The opportunity to purchase the Intermediate School came at a perfect time,” said Ali Houshmand, Rowan University president. “Prior to the pandemic, we contemplated several options for adding much-needed office space on campus. We delayed all projects as a result of the pandemic because we didn’t know the impact the pandemic would have on the university. That delay turns out to be fortuitous for all involved. We now plan to use the Intermediate School for administrative offices.”

“Special thanks to Rowan University,” said Peter Calvo, Glassboro board of education president. “We are excited that the Glassboro Intermediate School will be used in a meaningful way by Rowan.”

In 2001, Rowan University purchased the historic but long-vacant and decaying Academy Street School, renamed Shpeen Hall to honor former Glassboro Mayor Alvin Shpeen. Working with Rowan in the late ’90s, Shpeen helped develop some of the earliest plans to protect Glassboro’s heritage and future, beginning with downtown redevelopment and Rowan Boulevard.

In its first major project with the borough, the university invested $4.5 million in preserving and renovating the former elementary school and today uses it for administrative offices and alumni events.

“It’s a win for all involved. We are happy to help preserve Glassboro history while helping the school district better serve its students,” added Houshmand.