RENSSELAER, Ind. (WLFI) —An investor group offering to buy Saint Joseph's College for $27 million has been turned down. This comes as the school's board of trustees is stepping down and being replaced with a new group.
At this point, Saint Joseph's College has suspended all operations due to finances. In February, the school announced it's facing $27 million in debt and another $35 million in deferred building maintenance.
The college held its last foreseeable graduation in May and all remaining students have been forced to transfer.
On Monday, the former board of trustees officially announced in a press release they are stepping down and restructuring. According to the press release, the Phoenix Project is now the acting, volunteer-based board. The Phoenix team includes volunteers who are determined to raise money and think of a new strategy to reopen Saint Joe's by 2019.
The Phoenix team recently turned down a multi-million dollar offer.
The Indiana-based Fulcrum Strategic Group approached Saint Joseph's College back in February and early March offering Saint Joe's $27 million to purchase the property. The group's plan was to turn part of the campus into a training center for first responders and Government Security.
The group wanted to reopen the rest of the space as a college for Saint Joe's to lease back.
Fulcrum Strategic Group's Director of Logistics Richard Bartlett said the goal was to have the college up and running by fall of 2019.
The group was expected to invest an additional $25-$30 million to modernize the campus and bring in more than 300 jobs.
Bartlett said the offer was first denied back in September. The group was then denied for a second time, last week by the Phoenix team.
"[The Phoenix team] contacted us a few days ago saying, that no one had the authority to negotiate selling any of the land and they were not interested in business," said Bartlett. "This is after this individual both in writing, which we have copies of and phone calls and in person, said they were interested in doing it."
Bartlett said the Phoenix team never gave a reason as to why it denied the offer.