Rowan buys Intermediate School from Glassboro School District for $3.4M

Gabrielle Saulsbery//March 9, 2022

Rowan buys Intermediate School from Glassboro School District for $3.4M

Gabrielle Saulsbery//March 9, 2022

The Glassboro School District sold its 92-year-old Intermediate School to Rowan University for $3.4 million, the district announced March 8.

Glassboro Public Schools Superintendent Mark Silverstein cited a slow but steady decline in student enrollment. The district’s 2021 strategic plan included consolidating students to optimize space, facilitate educational programs, and enhance cost efficiency.

“The timing was right, so we approached Rowan last spring about purchasing the building, a move that will save the district approximately $175,000 a year in operating and maintenance costs and will generate $3.4 million for the school district on the sale itself. This money will provide a tax neutral solution to fund Thomas E. Bowe’s conversion to a middle school,” Silverstein said. “It was the right thing to do for our students and district.”

The Intermediate School was first used as Glassboro’s high school after it was built for $400,000 in 1930. The present high school, located on Joseph L. Bowe Boulevard, opened in 1965.

The Intermediate School is a Georgian Colonial-style, three-story, 79,891-square-foot brick building that currently serves approximately 270 students. The 9.52-acre lot also includes a one-story brick annex with classrooms and an older, wood-frame building used for storage.

Seventh- and eighth-grade students will finish out the school year at the Intermediate School. By next school year this coming fall, the district will realign grades one through eight, with Thomas E. Bowe School educating grades six through eight, and Dorothy L. Bullock School encompassing grades one through five. Grade levels will not change at J. Harvey Rodgers School, which serves pre-K and kindergarten, or at Glassboro High School, which serves grades nine through 12.

Thomas E. Bowe School’s maximum capacity is 529 students, but the redistribution of students will lead to the building having only approximately 430 students next school year. Dorothy L. Bullock School’s maximum capacity is 748, but will now serve approximately 669 students.

Money generated from the sale of the Intermediate School and the subsequent lack of maintenance costs will be used to create three science labs in Bowe School and renovate the locker rooms, along with other smaller projects.

According to the announcement, Rowan is in the process of developing its plans for the Glassboro Intermediate School. The Music Room and adjacent field make it a suitable site for the expansion of the Rowan Community Music School and will allow Rowan to broaden that program’s reach, the school said. Rowan also intends to move administrative offices into the space freeing space on campus for student-related activities.

Rowan University President Ali Houshmand.
Rowan University President Ali Houshmand. – AARON HOUSTON

“The opportunity to purchase the Intermediate School came at a perfect time,” said Rowan University President Ali Houshmand. “Prior to the pandemic, we contemplated several options for adding much-needed office space on campus. We delayed all projects as a result of the pandemic because we didn’t know the impact the pandemic would have on the University. That delay turns out to be fortuitous for all involved. We now plan to use the Intermediate School for administrative offices.

“It’s a win for all involved. We are happy to help preserve Glassboro history while helping the school district better serve its students,” Houshmand added.

The New Jersey Department of Education approved the sale of the Intermediate School in December 2021. The sale became final March 7.