Penn State bought private college for new campus

General Motors will close its plant near Wilmington, Del., idling the region's last 450 auto workers. (Michael Wirtz / Staff Photographer)

UPDATE: Purchase price: $12 million. Plus, the Penn State board voted to do this back in March, Penn State spokesman Geoff Rushton told me.

EARLIER: Penn State has agreed to buy the 30-acre, 100,000-square-foot Lehigh Valley College campus at 2809 E. Saucon Valley Rd. in Upper Saucon Township from owner W.P. Carey & Co. of New York, and will move Penn State Lehigh Valley to the site, doubling its classroom space, according to broker Cushman & Wakefiled, which is also trying to sell Penn State's old campus at 8380 Mohr Lane in Weisenberg.

The transaction will double Penn State's Allentown-area classroom space. It also shows Penn State has the muscle to keep building its collegiate empire despite a fight with Harrisburg over taxpayer subsidies for the state-affiliated system. More small private colleges are expected to merge or close as financial aid is increasingly targeted to community colleges and other cut-rate institutions.

135-year-old Lehigh Valley stopped accepting applications last year after its owners, Allentown Business School Ltd. and Career Education Corp., agreed to pay Pennsylvania $200,000 to settle allegations of "false and misleading" statements about financial aid, transfer credits and job placement. Attorney General Tom Corbett's announcement here.

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