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NASHVILLE, TN—Welch College and Aquinas College are in negotiations regarding the purchase and sale of the Welch campus located in the historic Richland-West End neighborhood in Nashville, according to Welch College president Matt Pinson. Both parties signed a non-binding letter of intent and are moving toward a contract which will await approval from the institutions’ boards of trustees. Both schools hope to close by February 2014.
While many details are yet undisclosed, the parties are negotiating a transitional agreement for shared use of campus facilities. Plans call for the acquisition and transition for Welch and Aquinas to take 18 months, including a year when both colleges will occupy portions of the Welch campus property while Welch builds the first phase of its new campus in Gallatin.
In June 2014, Aquinas will renovate and occupy four buildings on the current Welch campus. Welch will maintain occupancy of the remainder of the campus buildings until August 2015, when Aquinas will occupy the total campus.
The presidents of Aquinas and Welch met with representatives of the Richland-West End Neighborhood Association (RWENA) on Tuesday, October 15, to discuss the benefits of an Aquinas campus to the Richland-West End neighborhood.
Welch College President Matt Pinson said, “Welch College has enjoyed an excellent, mutually beneficial relationship with its neighbors. Maintaining this relationship with the neighborhood and staying within the zoning is of uppermost importance to both schools. Aquinas will definitely continue to be the good neighbor Welch has been.”
The proposed sale would allow Welch College to begin construction on a new campus at its 66-acre site in Gallatin, Tennessee.
Welch acquired the new campus site in the fall of 2008. The size and layout of the site allows for campus growth, permits building outdoor sports facilities for students, and provides adequate parking for students, staff, and guests. It is a short 26-minute drive from the college’s current location.