As some of you may be aware, Grace University has been in discussion with representatives of the owner of the property previously occupied by Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. The purpose of these discussions has been to explore the possibility of Grace University relocating its main campus operations to that property. I am very pleased to announce that Grace University has agreed to the terms in a Letter of Intent to relocate to the former Dana College site in Blair, Nebraska. Other organizations will be occupying owner developments adjacent to the campus on the 150-acre plot.
The projected timing of the relocation would occur during the summer of 2018 pending further negotiations with the property owner and securing any necessary approvals from the Higher Learning Commission or other regulatory entities.
While a Letter of Intent is not a legally binding contract, it is a significant step forward in laying the foundation for the development of a more detailed operating agreement. We anticipate having a mutually executed operating agreement by the end of the 2016-17 school year.
In 2018, Grace will be celebrating its 75th anniversary of serving students in higher education. This will be a time to not only honor the past but also to look forward to new beginnings that can include the campus relocation and the ability to serve even greater numbers of students. We will be looking at options to revise and or expand programs and service while continuing our mission to develop servant leaders for the home, the church and the world through excellence in biblically-integrated education and through life change in a personal, discipling environment, all for the glory of God.
With regard to ongoing real estate transactions that will precede a relocation, we still anticipate closing on the sale to the Omaha Public Schools – which includes all buildings and open space located between 8th and 10th Streets and Pine and Worthington Streets – in April, with Grace retaining full use of the property as it’s currently being used until May 31, 2018.
Additionally, the sale of our South Campus three-story building on Dorcas Street is still in progress and is expected to close in late May 2017. Also, our administrative building and dorm complex is on the market. We have had several showings and conversations with interested parties. I will share more developments as things progress.
As always, we remain committed to providing the best education possible to our current and future students. If you have additional questions, we will answer as we are able throughout the process. We continue to ask for your prayers of support and discernment.
William L. Bauhard
Chief Executive Officer