LAWRENCEVILLE — Rider University says it's grateful for interest from Princeton Public Schools in buying the Westminster Choir College, but won't take them up on an offer.

Hours after Rider's Board of Trustees voted to offer the school for sale to an institution that would keep it open as a music school, Princeton's Board of Education authorized a resolution on Tuesday to investigate the feasibility of buying the 23-acre campus on Walnut Avenue as the possible site for a future public school, according to Planet Princeton.

Board member Justin Doran said the sale of Westminster presents a historic opportunity.

"We had a time in our country's history where the Louisiana Purchase was an amazing thing, and to those people that stepped out and really took that risk, look at the reward. This is an opportunity that, in this town, has not happened in 100 years," according to the report.

Rider Trustees Vote on Westminster Choir College's Future
(Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

"While we appreciate their interest and deeply value our place in the Princeton community, as President Dell’Omo informed the Rider community, over the next 12 months, our highest priority is to find an institution willing to acquire Westminster Choir College and keep it in Princeton," Rider spokeswoman Kristine Brown told New Jersey 101.5.

Brown said she was unaware of any institutions that have contacted Rider since Tuesday' announcement.

"However since our original announcement last December, we have received multiple inquiries expressing interest in Westminster," Brown said.

Dell'Omo said the decision to sell came after a comprehensive study about the university's financial future concluded that "neither keeping Westminster at its current location in Princeton, nor consolidating Westminster onto the Lawrenceville campus would achieve the strategic goals of the University."

No selling price was announced for the school, although Dell'Omo said he "has a number in mind."

Constance Fee, president of the Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College in Princeton, said the group is "deeply grateful to the Board of Trustees for the window of opportunity this gives us to find another affiliation for Westminster. We also hope that Rider’s financial issues will be resolved in a way that will secure the future of Rider University." But, the group's main focus remains supporting and maintaining Westminster's status and legacy.

The trustees' vote "provides no assurance that Westminster Choir College will remain on its Princeton campus," group chairwoman Mona Davids said.

"We remain steadfastly committed to our title: 'The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College in Princeton, Inc.,' and we are urgently soliciting contributions from all who support the mission of keeping Westminster at its current location in Princeton," member and former Trustee Howard McMorris said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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