Marywood to sell South Campus


Brigid Edmunds, Multimedia Editor

Marywood administrators have decided to sell the former Scranton State School for the Deaf property, which they purchased in 2011 for $500,000. The cluster of buildings, which became known as South Campus, has only been used for a handful of events in the past four years.

According to Joseph X. Garvey, vice president for Business Affairs and Treasurer, when Marywood purchased South Campus, plans were discussed to move certain graduate and clinical programs into the space.

“Our thought was that we would renovate one building at a time,” said Garvey.

But there have been no renovations to any of the buildings in the past four years. While Marywood did occasionally use the space for athletic practices and special events, like the Immac Asylum, none of the original plans for the relocation of programs came to fruition.

The speech and hearing clinic currently located in McGowan was slated to relocate to South Campus as part of the initial plans. According to Andrea Novak, clinical assistant professor, no discussions about the move ever actually took place.

“I’m not sure it would have been the best move for us anyway; therefore the South Campus being sold does not directly affect current plans for our clinic,” Novak said.

According to Nicole Malloy, assistant athletic director, there are a number of teams who utilized the space at South Campus for practices. Both the dance and cheer teams would practice in the buildings along with the baseball and basketball teams occasionally practicing at South Campus.

“Next year, it’s just a matter of trying to get into the main gym [in the athletic center],” Malloy said.

Garvey said that South Campus is going on the market partly because the administration decided to move forward with the plans to build the Learning Commons, which he said has been in discussion for more than 10 years. After construction began on the Learning Commons, the Board of Trustees met with administration to discuss whether they would let the space sit idle until a future date or sell the property.

According to Garvey, the cost to maintain the properties has been between $200,000 and $250,000 a year since its purchase in 2011. Because of this, administrators and the Board of Trustees made the decision to refocus efforts on Marywood’s immediate campus and sell South Campus.

Hinerfeld Realty is handling the listing contract and is soliciting developers to submit plans for the property.  Interested developers must submit a plan detailing what they want to do with the property. Anyone who submits a proposal also must sign a confidentiality agreement along with an offer of what they would be willing to pay for the property.

According to Garvey, a special task force committee made up of trustees, Garvey, and Mary Theresa Gardier Patterson, the general council/secretary of the university, will be reviewing all submitted plans to ensure that the selected developer will respect the neighborhood within the vicinity of the South Campus property.

“We’re very interested in looking into how the property is going to be developed,” said Garvey.

Dr. Alan Levine, vice president for Academic Affairs, declined to comment on the sale of South Campus and how it will impact the future of academic programs originally slated for relocation.