South Abington Twp. approves subdivision for Clarks Summit University to sell seminary property


Seminary will hold classes in Jackson Hall, online

By Elizabeth Baumeister - ebaumeister@timesleader.com



Clarks Summit University is selling its seminary property, adjacent to the rest of the school’s campus on Venard Road in South Abington Township. According to officials, the Baptist Bible Seminary, which currently has a 70 percent cyber enrollment, will remain open with some classes housed in Jackson Hall in addition to the online offerings.


Elizabeth Baumeister | Abington Journal

SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Clarks Summit University (CSU, formerly Baptist Bible College,) plans to sell its seminary property.

The township supervisors voted to approve the subdivision at their regular meeting Monday, Oct. 10, separating the 3.8 acres on which the Baptist Bible Seminary building and parking lot sit from the rest of the university campus on Venard Road.

According to CSU Chief Financial Officer Tom Bevan, this does not mean the Baptist Bible Seminary (BBS) is in danger of closing. To the contrary, he said “great things” are happening within the institution. But with only 30 percent of its students attending class on campus, there is a shift in focus to internet offerings.

“Enrollment is up, and it’s online,” he said.

BBS will continue to offer classes both online and in the university’s Jackson Hall.

The seminary building, which is separated from the rest of the CSU campus by a small pond, includes a chapel, several offices and classrooms, as well as a parking lot.

According to Township Manager David O’Neill, the party interested in purchasing the property is a religious order of priests. He said the planned use, a retirement home for priests, will fall into the same zoning category as the property’s former use.

In other business:

• Josh Shoff, representing the Aqua PA Water Company, gave a presentation regarding plans to build a well pump house and 30-foot high water storage tank on the 600 block of Layton Road. He discussed with the supervisors options to make the structures “blend in” with the surrounding buildings in that area.

No administrative action was taken. The project will come before the township planning commission at its next meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 at the municipal building on Shady Lane Road.

• During public comment, residents of the Meadow Creek development followed up on their previous visits to the township in regard to road conditions. O’Neill said the board is aware of the situation and those roads are on the list for consideration for future paving. The yearly roadwork schedule is determined in March or April.

• The board approved a resolution for the signing of a PennDOT highway occupancy (HOP) agreement for the Hampton Estates project.

• A resolution was approved in regard to an Abington Regional Wastewater Authority (ARWA) loan guarantee, allowing ARWA to re-finance a loan at a lower interest rate.

The next regular township supervisors meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14 at the municipal building on Shady Lane Road.

Clarks Summit University is selling its seminary property, adjacent to the rest of the school’s campus on Venard Road in South Abington Township. According to officials, the Baptist Bible Seminary, which currently has a 70 percent cyber enrollment, will remain open with some classes housed in Jackson Hall in addition to the online offerings.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_ABJ-SAb-BBS.jpgClarks Summit University is selling its seminary property, adjacent to the rest of the school’s campus on Venard Road in South Abington Township. According to officials, the Baptist Bible Seminary, which currently has a 70 percent cyber enrollment, will remain open with some classes housed in Jackson Hall in addition to the online offerings. Elizabeth Baumeister | Abington Journal
Seminary will hold classes in Jackson Hall, online

By Elizabeth Baumeister

ebaumeister@timesleader.com

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

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