BANGOR (AP) – The Bangor Theological Seminary, which moved to Husson College two years ago, said Monday it has sold its 186-year-old campus for $1.65 million.

The new owners, Paul Cook, a Bangor developer, and Kenneth Ray, a Portland businessman, formed Seminary Redevelopment LLC six months ago and plan to continue to rent residential and commercial space on the 9-acre campus and to renovate Maine Hall, the oldest building on the campus, according to the Bangor Daily News.

“We’re entertaining all the different options that we have before us. I can honestly say that we have not settled on a plan,” Cook said Monday.

The campus, which was donated to the Bangor Theological Seminary in 1819, consists of three academic buildings and six residences, including the former home of Hannibal Hamlin, Abraham Lincolns first vice president.

Seminary President Bill Imes expressed sadness.

“It’s sad to bring an end to the history of the school on that campus. The people who attended have wonderful memories of the school on that spot,” Imes said.

“Our concerns are that what’s done should be of benefit to the city and to the neighborhood and continued sensitivity to the history of the particular place. I think they understand that, and I think they’ll be good neighbors and good citizens,” Imes said.

The school was put on the market in 2005 because it was losing money maintaining its facilities as an increasing number of students chose to live off-campus, Imes said.

The number of student residents dropped from 100 in 1990 to 24 in 2004. Today 135 students are enrolled in degree programs at the seminary, with another 20 or 30 specialty students, Imes said.

The campus now houses a day care, preschool, small catering business and approximately 12 people who rent apartments. There are no plans to ask anyone to leave and the new owners hope to fill up the 21 apartment units, Cook said.

Seminary Redevelopment is thinking about selling the Hannibal Hamlin house, Cook said.

He said there have been numerous inquiries about purchasing portions of the campus and several nonprofit organizations have expressed interest in renting office space.

“That’s one of the things that has encouraged us to move forward,” Cook said.

The proceeds of the sale will go toward the school’s endowment, which now totals about $11 million, Imes said.

“This money on our endowment will increase our ability to have a future,” Imes said.

Information from: Bangor Daily News,

AP-ES-08-21-07 0807EDT

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