The sale of the former Rosewood Center property in Owings Mills to Stevenson University was approved by Maryland’s Board of Public Works during its June 7 meeting in Annapolis. Stevenson, per the sales agreement, will use State grants totaling $16 million to complete the environmental abatement and remediation of the Rosewood site before the State transfers the final deed to the property.
Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene closed Rosewood in 2009 and declared the property surplus in 2010 after it had served as a state mental health facility since 1888. The vacant buildings and possible environmental contaminants on the site had been the concern of the surrounding community and the District 11 delegation for many years. Stevenson first expressed interest in acquiring the property in 2000 and conducted an environmental survey of the site in 2009-2010.
“I would like to thank the Board of Public Works and the State of Maryland for their support and patience through this lengthy but incredibly important process,” says Tim Campbell, Executive Vice President for Financial Affairs and Chief Financial Officer for Stevenson. “Throughout the years, the State has been an integral part of the success of Stevenson University, supporting many of our expansion and construction projects, and now the acquisition and improvement of the Rosewood property.”
The 117-acre Rosewood site sits adjacent to Stevenson’s existing Owings Mills campus and will nearly double the total acreage of the University. While no final plans for the site have been determined, the agreement calls for Stevenson to use the site for educational purposes. The University’s tentative plans, after completion of environmental cleanup and remediation, include developing new educational facilities and recreational resources for its students and the community.
“I have no doubt that the State, Stevenson, and the community that surrounds our Owings Mills campus all will benefit from turning this dilapidated parcel of land into a vibrant, beautiful site for education and athletics,” Campbell says. “Our President Emeritus Kevin J. Manning saw the potential for this site more than a decade ago. But this would not have moved along to this point without the support of local community leaders and organizations, Senator Bobby Zirkin, and our District 11 Delegates as well as Senator Ed DeGrange and Delegate Adrienne Jones.”
“I’ve grown up here and I remember when the Owings Mills campus was a massive mound of dirt, and now look at it—it’s incredible. It’s one of the best things going in the area. I’m just proud to be a tiny part of it.”
Zirkin, who promoted this sale for 17 years, explains his dedication to making it happen. “To take a campus with Rosewood’s history and turn it into something wonderful for the community is a great thing. The idea of helping Stevenson double the size of their campus is a benefit not just to the University but also to the local community. They’ve really turned this into a college town, and businesses in the area are thriving in part because of Stevenson.”
He, too, notes his appreciation for the support of several individuals. “To me, this move was always the right fit, and I thank President Emeritus Manning and Tim Campbell for sticking with it. Our governors also deserve credit: Martin O’Malley made sure that Stevenson was the sole-source bid and during my first meeting with Governor Larry Hogan, he committed to this and helped make it happen.”
The matter is also personal for Zirkin. “I’ve grown up here and I remember when the Owings Mills campus was a massive mound of dirt, and now look at it—it’s incredible,” he says. “It’s one of the best things going in the area. I’m just proud to be a tiny part of it.”
James B. Stradtner, Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, says, “We are committed to making Stevenson and its future development of the Rosewood property assets that enhance our surrounding community and the State of Maryland. The acquisition of the Rosewood property marks yet another historic milestone in the growth of Stevenson University.