The Philadelphia Archdiocese announced today it has reached an agreement of sale with Arcadia University for the former Bishop McDevitt High School property in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County.
The 18-acre property, located within walking distance of Arcadia’s Glenside campus, includes a four-story structure totaling close to 95,750 square feet, along with athletic fields and a parking lot.
Terms of the sale, including price, were not disclosed in a Feb. 8 joint statement issued by the archdiocese and the university, which in 2014 entered into a shared property use agreement regarding the high school campus.
Under the arrangement, which provided for a number of collaborative efforts such as dual credit enrollment programs, the archdiocese granted right of first refusal to Arcadia should the Bishop McDevitt property be sold.
Six years later, the archdiocese announced the closure of Bishop McDevitt due to declining enrollment and underutilized buildings.
In a Feb. 8 joint statement, the archdiocese and the university said the agreement of sale was a beneficial one from both an educational and community perspective.
“Bishop McDevitt High School served the community for more than 60 years,” said Kenneth Gavin, chief communications officer for the archdiocese. “We believe that the sale to Arcadia University, an institution well rooted in Glenside and Cheltenham Township, will help preserve the building and enable it to continue to serve the community as an academic institution for years to come.”
Arcadia University president Dr. Ajay Nair said the acquisition marked “an extraordinary opportunity” that would afford the school “space to continue to advance (its) esteemed academic programs, while advancing the educational experience (of its) students.”
Details regarding the specific use of the Bishop McDevitt property and opportunities for community input are forthcoming, but Nair stressed the university “will take a measured approach.”
“Well-thought-out plans will limit our risk and expand the possibilities for Arcadia to venture beyond what we ever thought possible,” he said. “Most importantly, this generational opportunity will facilitate our campus master planning and adaptive strategy, ARCADIA2025, and help us plan for and build the university of the future.”
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