Historically Black Morris Brown College, which is flat broke, lost a $13 million classroom building to an investment firm for a measly $900,000 Tuesday.
The U.S. Bank Association, which represents the investment group, purchased Frederick D. Jordan Hall on the steps of the Fulton County Courthouse during a foreclosure sale. It is unclear what the purchaser intends for the property.
“This is certainly not a great day for the Morris Brown family and the Atlanta community,” Trustees Vice Chairman Sonny Walker said in a prepared statement. “However, the glass is not empty.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the loss of Jordan Hall is likely to have little, if any, impact on day-to-day campus life. There are only about 200 students enrolled, college officials told the Journal-Constitution. But the education is still “The students are in class and Morris Brown College is open for business,” Stanley Pritchett, acting president of the college, said in a prepared statement. “We are making strides toward securing interim funding which will enable us to relieve the strain of weekly financial crises … but the need for large donations is critical —- especially from the Atlanta community.”
Jordan Hall once housed the school’s Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration program.
Morris Brown still owes $12.2 million for the defaulted construction loan on the building. In addition, it owes $214,000 in overdue water bills, which a court ordered campus officials to pay by March 19.