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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Purchase of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary Property

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July 17, 2009
What is Northwestern buying?
Northwestern University is purchasing the buildings and land owned by Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston.

Where is the property located?
The property encompasses the block bounded by Sheridan Road on the east, Orrington Avenue on the west, Haven Street on the north and Garrett Place on the south, with the exception of two houses that are not currently owned by Northwestern or Seabury. Northwestern already owns more than half of the land.

Does the purchase mean that additional land will be taken off the property tax rolls in Evanston?
No, all of the land purchased already is exempt from property taxes.

How will the purchase by Northwestern affect the use of the property?
There are no plans to propose a change in zoning, which governs the use of the buildings. Those buildings that are currently used for classrooms, offices and other academic purposes will continue to be used in that manner. Buildings used for residential and related purposes will continue to be used for those purposes.

Will Seabury continue to use some of the space?
Yes, Northwestern will lease back a portion of the administrative, academic and residential space to Seabury for some period of time.

Why is Seabury doing this?
Seabury stated that it is transforming itself into the seminary for the future – to address the needs for change in theological education and the new realities of the Church. In its new configuration, Seabury no longer needs a residential campus. 

Why does Northwestern want the property?
The acquisition of the Seabury property allows the University to add space for academic, residential and administrative purposes.

There are several single-family homes and duplexes on the property that are used by Seabury faculty and staff. What will happen to those houses?
Northwestern will use them for faculty and staff housing.

What will happen to the chapel?
It will continue in its current or a related use for the foreseeable future. Once Seabury moves from the campus, the chapel will be deconsecrated.