Arcadia University and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announce an agreement of sale for Arcadia to purchase the former Bishop McDevitt High School property in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County.
The property includes a total of 18.21 acres, a four-story structure totaling 95,746 square feet, athletic fields, and a parking lot. Located at 125 Royal Way in Wyncote, the former Bishop McDevitt High School is within walking distance of Arcadia’s existing campus footprint in Glenside.
“We are grateful to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for our years of a mutually beneficial partnership and for this extraordinary opportunity,” said Dr. Ajay Nair, president of Arcadia University. “The acquisition of this property will afford us the space to continue to advance our esteemed academic programs while enhancing the educational experience for Arcadia students.”
In 2014, the Archdiocese and Arcadia entered into a shared use agreement relative to the Bishop McDevitt campus that provided for dual credit enrollment programs among other initiatives to the mutual benefit of both institutions. As part of that agreement, the Archdiocese granted a right of first offer to Arcadia should the Bishop McDevitt property ever be sold. Bishop McDevitt High School closed at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 academic year.
“Bishop McDevitt High School served the community for more than 60 years as an Archdiocesan high school,” said Kenneth A. Gavin, chief communications officer for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. “We believe that the sale to Arcadia University, an institution well rooted in Glenside and Cheltenham Township, will help preserve the building and enable it to continue to serve the community as an academic institution for years to come.”
Arcadia prides itself on being a considerate, helpful partner to its local and global communities, especially Cheltenham Township and its residents. More details about the future use of the property and opportunities for community input will be forthcoming, and Arcadia will communicate directly with neighbors on its engagement plan.
“Arcadia will take a well-thought-out, measured approach to planning for this property at 125 Royal Avenue, which will limit our risk and expand the possibilities for Arcadia to venture beyond what we ever thought possible,” said President Nair. “Most importantly, this generational opportunity will facilitate our campus master planning and Adaptive Strategy, ARCADIA2025, and help us plan for and build the University of the future.”
Arcadia’s facilities management crew assists with grounds keeping, snow removal, and road maintenance for areas around campus. The University also strives to enhance the lives of fellow members of the Glenside community through public art projects such as the Bits and Pieces mural at the Glenside Station and the Arcadia-Glenside Community Railway project at the Glenside Free Library and the Pro Bono Physical Therapy clinic and the Dan Aaron Stay Fit Clinic. More than 1,000 Arcadia employees and alumni reside in Cheltenham Township.