An alumnus has given a $1.8 million gift to the King’s College, but the financially troubled school in Briarcliff Manor, New York, continues along a precarious path.

The gift—by a donor who will not be identified until dedication ceremonies—will be used for the library in a 200,000-square-foot building on the new 310-acre campus in Sterling Park, 32 miles southwest of the present site.

Two years ago, the school assumed a $12.4 million mortgage on the former International Nickel Company research center in anticipation of moving. King’s sold its 52-acre campus to a consortium of Irish cultural and athletic groups for $18.2 million. But the sale has been held up because of a city-ordered environmental-impact study.

King’s president Friedhelm Radandt says the sale remains “absolutely firm,” and the move should happen by June. But many details must fall into place for the school to survive.

King’s is $21 million in debt; the sale would whittle its debt to $9 million. In May, the college worked out a ten-year debt-restructuring plan with creditors, which includes no payments for two years. But, Radandt admits, another $1.9 million is needed for renovations of the three-story complex, which would contain not only the library, but administrative offices, classrooms, gymnasium, dining hall, and chapel. Students will live in leased apartments and dormitories in nearby towns. Radandt says, “Dorms won’t be built until we have finances.”

The move is necessitated by the deteriorating condition of the Briarcliff Manor campus. Radandt says the cost of renovating the main building—an old resort hotel—would be prohibitive.

Financial instability and poor facilities were two factors cited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in ...

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