Story by WAU Staff
Washington Adventist University (WAU) announced today that it will offer to purchase the 14.5 acre property currently home to Adventist HealthCare’s Washington Adventist Hospital, which will relocate to Silver Spring in August with a new name Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center.
The property, which lies adjacent to the university, will effectively double the size of the WAU campus and support its ongoing development into a rich learning environment that not only prepares students for success in today’s market but also serves as a resource to the community.
“We want to create a sustainable, 21st-century campus,” said Dr. Weymouth Spence, WAU’s president, who described the purchase as another major step in the university’s growth. “We’re excited about the new opportunities this property will create for WAU and the Takoma Park community and look forward to exploring the possibilities with our neighbors and partners here in the city, county and state.”
WAU aims to develop the property with a focus on providing education, health care and housing to the university and surrounding community. Among long-term goals: diversifying WAU’s revenue to support need- and merit-based scholarships; improve student housing, as well as health, wellness and athletic facilities; create new learning and teaching spaces with the technology required for professional studies; and increase access to affordable homes for the community and WAU employees.
A key part of developing the site, Spence said, will be engaging the community and getting resident perspectives on what they’d like to see the property become. “We have a vision, and the community is an important part of it,” he said. “Our neighbors’ input and involvement are critical.”
WAU anticipates site development will begin sometime in late 2020, after seeking community input and securing the necessary permits and approvals for site plans. Adventist HealthCare will continue to maintain a 24-hour urgent care facility and other medical facilities on the site.
”In addition to enlarging the footprint and enhancing the campus, we believe this historic acquisition would position our school to have a stronger future,” says Dave Weigley, who chairs WAU’s Board of Trustees and is president of the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.