The former Rosewood Hospital Center property has been sitting empty since it closed in 2009. The 117-acre property may soon become a part of an expansion project of the Stevenson University, depending on a Board of Public Works decision.
The Board of Public Works will vote on a proposal to sell the property at Owings Mill to the university for $1 on Wednesday.
As part of the deed agreement, Stevenson University will take on the responsibility of the environmental remediation. The Maryland Department of the Environment will need to certify that Stevenson completed the work, before the deal closes. The state will award the school $16 million in grant money through 2019 for remediation.
The Department of General Services said the site “represents a blighted area and a nuisance” and has been a target of vandalism and other types of crime, which justifies the deal. Since 2010, the state has spent a total of $17 million to maintain the property, the department said. After the deal is completed, the state expects to be spared these costs.
The agreement also requires the university to utilize the property for educational purposes for up to 15 years once the deal is finalized, which is scheduled for October 2019. Stevenson will spend an estimated $20 on capital improvements to the property, as part of the agreement.
The facility was established in 1888 as the Maryland Asylum Training School for the Feeble Minded. In 1912, it was renamed to the Rosewood State Training School and again in 1961 to Rosewood State Hospital. In 1969, the state departments of mental hygiene and health merged, so the facility was renamed to what it was known as when it closed on June 30, 2009 – Rosewood Center.
At the time of closing, the hospital housed only 166 patients, but previously it was licensed to house up to 3,000 patients. It had been cited several times for neglect and abuse of its patients.
When Stephenson, a private coeducational university, declared surplus in 2010, it began expressing interest in buying the property. If the proposal is approved, the university plans an expansion for additional athletic fields and the School of Education.
The 2017 thriller film “The Institute” is based on true events that occurred at the Rosewood Institute, the producers said.