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March 26, 2020

Atlantic Union College sells additional Lancaster properties

Photo | File Atlantic Union College's campus in Lancaster

The defunct Atlantic Union College has sold a series of small properties around its Lancaster campus in the last two months, nearly two years after holding its last courses.

Five property sales since January include Ross Manor, a five-building residential complex on Main Street, and a multi-tenant house at 79 Prescott St. The campus's main academic and dormitory buildings remain unsold after the school said it planned to sell virtually all of its holdings.

Ross Manor, at 217-219 Main St. was sold for just under $1.6 million to a limited liability corporation registered to Raymond and Robert Safi of Andover. The sale closed Feb. 21.

FML Corp., which is registered to Tina Maureen Jones of Sterling and Tyrone Jones of Leominster, bought a single-family home at 69 Prescott St. sold March 2 for $170,000, and a single-family home at 14 Orchard St. for $66,000 in a sale that closed Feb. 13.

The multi-tenant residential building at 79 Prescott St. was bought for $305,000 on Feb. 7 by Ronald Rojas and Jenny Baez-Rojas. A home at 204 Main St. was sold Jan. 10 for $245,000 to the church affiliated with the school, the Southern New England Conference Association of Seventh-Day Adventists.

Atlantic Union sold another site, 40 Maple St., a 41,700-square-foot office building, last June for $610,000.

The traditional Christian college announced in March 2018 it would no longer hold classes following the completion of that academic semester. The 52-acre property will continue to be used as a music school and other activities by the affiliated Atlantic Union Conference, but revenue from the sale of other sites will be used to help pay off the college’s $2.4 million in outstanding loan debt.

Atlantic Union's closure followed a decision by the Southern New England Conference, a major funder, to withdraw financial support. The conference, part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church with which Atlantic Union is affiliated, decided it would instead spend the $800,000 it traditionally gave Atlantic Union to financially help for college-age members of the church.

Atlantic Union had been reliant on church funding to make ends meet. According to its 2016 financial report, church subsidies made up 90% of its $4.5-million income in 2015.

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges withdrew accreditation in 2011, citing financial concerns and forcing the college's 400 students to transfer to other colleges.

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