Stevenson University has launched an environmental study of the former Rosewood Center in Owings Mills, the next step in evaluating contamination at the state-owned land where the school hopes to expand its campus.
The school has hired Urban Green Environmental LLC of Baltimore to conduct a second study meant to figure out more precisely the extent of contamination found in a state study last summer and fall, said a spokeswoman, Glenda LeGendre. In that study, Arc EnvironmentSal Inc. researched historical records and inspected the former institution for mentally disabled people.
Arc found that the grounds and buildings on the 178-acre site contained asbestos, lead, PCBs and concentrations of toxic chemicals from ash dumping and leaking oil tanks.
The state paid for the first study, which cost about $100,000. Stevenson is paying for the second project, but LeGendre declined to reveal the price, other than to say that it's less expensive than the original study.
The second-phase report is expected to be completed by the end of the summer, LeGendre said.
Tim Campbell, chief executive officer and executive vice president for financial affairs at Stevenson, has said the school wants to pursue buying the property but could not negotiate with the state without first knowing what it would cost to clean up the hazardous materials. The second study is meant to provide some of that information.
The land, owned by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, was declared surplus early this year by the State Board of Public Works. Since then, the Baltimore County Planning Board has endorsed Stevenson as the "master developer" of the property.
The university, formerly known as Villa Julie College, offers liberal arts and professional programs to about 3,100 undergraduate and graduate students. A second campus just west of Rosewood opened in 2004, and the school has drafted tentative plans to use the site for athletic fields, a school of education and administrative and faculty offices.
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