The Morgan State University Board of Regents moved to unanimously approve the purchase of additional property in East Baltimore, bringing the institution one step closer to creating its first modern satellite campus.
The university plans to acquire three city-owned parcels of land, which includes the old Lake Clifton High School campus and the historic Clifton Park Valve House, and spend $200 million to create its satellite campus. To finalize the sale, Morgan State awaits approval from the Maryland Board of Public Works at their meeting on May 11.
“This is about Morgan State University in [the year] 3000,” Morgan State President David Wilson said. “We’ve got to make sure that this institution 40 years from now is one of the top universities in the world, and this will enable us to move forward in that direction.”
Morgan State will pay roughly $94,000 for about 59 acres of land. According to the Board of Public Works agenda for May 11, Lipman Frizzell & Mitchell appraised the land for Baltimore City at more than $4 million.
The sale price includes a bond debt owed to the state. With the purchase, Baltimore City stands to save more than $700,000 in annual maintenance and security costs.
The purchased land would situate the satellite campus about one mile south of the university’s main campus, helping expand Morgan State’s housing and retail options, according to Wilson. These additions should help keep students clustered in the same area, said Vice President for student affairs Kevin M. Banks at Morgan State’s Board of Regents Executive Committee meeting on Friday.
Wilson said the university also hopes to construct a multipurpose center on the satellite campus with an arena space large enough to fit about 10,000 attendees. Development of the overall site is planned to take place over the next 15 to 20 years, he said.
Along with development of the campus, Wilson said there are plans to help uplift neighboring communities in East Baltimore.
Board Chairman Kweisi Mfume said the decision to acquire these city properties is as transformational and historic as when the university moved from its small building on Fulton Avenue and Edmondson in 1917.
“Can you imagine how many more students we can be serving? How many special programs we can have in this place?” Mfume said. “It’s a really big deal.”