Rider University chooses international partner to keep Westminster Choir College in Princeton

Rider University officials have selected an international partner to buy Westminster Choir College and keep the campus in Princeton.

The school’s board of trustees met today and selected the unnamed potential international partner that has proposed to acquire the college and maintain the campus in Princeton.

After reviewing proposals over the last several weeks, the board will now begin negotiations and due diligence with the selected potential partner, school officials said in a written statement.

“As we have said throughout this process, our goal was to identify a partner that is best positioned to make the necessary investments in and build upon Westminster’s world-class curriculum and rich legacy in Princeton, reads the statement. “The University remains encouraged by our strong progress to date, accomplished in accordance with our guiding principles, including the commitment to maintaining our existing programs, faculty and administration.”

School officials said negotiations must remain confidential until a deal is complete.

“Please know that much work still remains, and as this process moves forward, it’s critical that negotiations remain confidential between Rider and the selected potential partner,” reads the statement. “We appreciate your continued patience and promise to keep the university community informed as we move into the next phase of this important process.”

Some leaders of the Princeton Public Schools wanted the school district to buy the property. The district made it to the second round when proposals were reviewed, but was not selected. Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert voiced support for the district buying the property. But many residents have questioned whether the district needs the space and how such a deal would affect property taxes.

A group of alumni, parents and students represented by Princeton lawyer Bruce Afran filed a suit this summer to stop any sale that would not keep the choir college in Princeton. Last month a few donors who funded renovations at the campus signed on to the lawsuit.

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