Loyola, to buy Shriners' building Agreement reached on Boumi Temple, 21 acres on Charles St.

June 15, 1996|By John Rivera | John Rivera,SUN STAFF

Loyola College last night reached an agreement with the Boumi Temple to purchase the Shriners' building and 21 acres of land on Charles Street to expand its North Baltimore campus.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was sealed after the temple's 6,300 members voted last night to approve the sale, the Shriners will continue using the building in the 4900 block of N. Charles St. for two more years while they seek new quarters.

Boumi Temple officials said last night that they have not yet decided where they will relocate.

"Most likely, [the new building] will be out of the city," said Clifford Stevens, recorder for the Boumi Temple. "Just for growth purposes, what we're looking for, we need to rebuild."

At the invitation of temple officials, Loyola College submitted an offer to buy the building on May 17.

"The sale price has not been determined yet," said Mark Kelly, a spokesman for Loyola College. "The contract is still under determination."

The property will provide the college with much-needed land to expand its 61-acre campus.

"We are excited by the potential of this site," the Rev. Harold Ridley Jr., Loyola's president, said in a written statement. "This is a significant addition to our campus that will give us some room to strengthen our position as a top liberal arts college.

"We appreciate the long-standing role the Shriners have played here, and we remain committed to maintaining the character and stability of the Charles Street corridor," Ridley said.

The agreement with the Shriners is consistent with the 10-year pact signed in April 1995 by the college and the North Baltimore Neighborhood Coalition, which includes Roland Park and Guilford, Kelly said. That pact stipulates that Loyola may acquire and use nonresidential property within a half-mile of the college's Evergreen Campus on Charles Street.

Loyola has not determined a use for the building but there are no plans to raze it, Kelly said.

The Boumi Temple building, which was dedicated in 1960, has a 40-foot ceiling covered with gold leaf in the central lobby, a 3,000-seat auditorium, dance and banquet halls and numerous meeting rooms for the Shriners' 18 units and more than 30 clubs.

The Shriners, who have been in Baltimore since the late 1800s, raise money to build hospitals and provide medical care to handicapped and burned children.

Pub Date: 6/15/96

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