Campus Musical Chairs: Aquinas To Move To Welch As Welch Heads To Gallatin

Aquinas College has signed a letter of intent to buy the Welch College campus on West End Avenue in Nashville, taking full control in 2015. Welch President Matt Pinson and Aquinas President Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith say they've been working out the deal for months. Credit: Aquinas

Aquinas College has signed a letter of intent to buy the Welch College campus on West End Avenue in Nashville, taking full control in 2015. Welch President Matt Pinson and Aquinas President Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith say they’ve been working out the deal for months. Credit: Aquinas

Welch College’s planned move from Nashville to Gallatin has spawned another campus relocation. Aquinas College has announced plans to purchase Welch’s 7-acre property on West End Avenue, listed last year for $12.5 million.

Aquinas is less than a mile down the road from the Welch property, situated on a campus along with Overbrook School and St. Cecilia Academy.

According to Associate Provost William Smart, the move will quadruple the current available space. Aquinas has grown in recent years, with enrollment approaching 600 this fall.

The Catholic college is actually larger than Welch, known until last year as Free Will Baptist Bible College. During the 18-month transition, both schools will hold classes on the same campus for one year.

Welch has been trying to sell its valuable West End real estate for years but has been limited by zoning rules that made the site unattractive to any buyer except for another school.

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