NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some neighbors are nervous about a new real estate listing in Westchester County — an entire college campus.
Commencement signifies new beginnings, but Tuesday’s graduation ceremony at the College of New Rochelle marked the end of a beloved institution.
“It’s just sad that the school is closing and other people won’t get the opportunity to come here,” graduate T’wana Kenney told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
The college, crippled by years of mismanagement, announced its closure earlier this year.
Its sprawling 15-acre campus — including a library, pool and classrooms — is now up for sale.
Neighbors and alumni are nervous about what will move into its place.
“Heartbroken, worried. I mean, it’s a beautiful campus,” New Rochelle resident Dolores Jaslo said.
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson hopes selecting a buyer will be a collaborative effort. He says remnants of the school’s leadership have selected a chief reconstruction officer to oversee the sale.
“There are a range of plausible possibilities. Senior housing, assisted living, technical and research facilities, and, of course, schools,” Bramson said.
The mayor says the area is currently zoned for educational institutions and two family homes. He says he wants to ensure the historic buildings are preserved.
“We definitely do not need another high rise. If anything, we need another school here,” Jaslo said.
“Another learning institution of some sort, whatever it may be. Something where knowledge can just keep being passed on,” Kenney said.
Neighbors will get their wish, at least for the short term.
Mercy College, which took on about 1,700 former CNR students, will be leasing the campus for up to two years.
A spokesperson for the college tells CBS2 there has been strong interest from buyers. The campus will be offered for sale at auction this fall as part of bankruptcy proceedings.