Amid Financial Concerns, Wesley Seeks State Financial Support Fr - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Amid Financial Concerns, Wesley Seeks State Financial Support From Delaware

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Wesley College in Dover (Photo: WBOC) Wesley College in Dover (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- Wesley College has been a fixture in Dover since 1873, but school leaders are now formulating a long-term plan to make sure it remains that way amid concerns about the institution's financial footing.

Wesley College President Robert Clark said the school is plotting out a new “business model” as it seeks to secure its $2 million share of $20 million in state funding set aside for investment in higher education. 

“Are we in trouble? We have some concerns, but it’s nothing that’s new,” he said.

Half of the funding has already been allocated to Wesley, which has more than 1,000 enrolled students and roughly 200 employees.

But state officials say Wesley will need to prove it has a strategy to remain in business before the remaining $1 million is given to the college.

"Wesley is incredibly important to Dover and Kent County but it is not a state school. We've tried to put boundaries around state support to that respect,” said Gov. John Carney (D-Delaware).

The higher education investment funding would also supplement $1.375 million in money approved by state lawmakers in 2018's bond bill that was intended to be used to renovate the former old Dover public library, where Wesley had said it wanted to house its occupational therapy program.

The building was sold to Wesley for $1 by Dover in a deal that was facilitated by state lawmakers promising more than $1 million in state transportation funds to the city to offset the building's appraised value.

Lawmakers this year voted to allow Wesley to use the renovation funding on general school operations with the hope the college would invest the same amount of money into the building once the school’s finances were more stable.

Clark said that money, coupled with cost-saving measures being taken at the school and partnerships being explored with other entities, could potentially allow the college to adjust and ultimately prosper in a way that benefits the larger community.

"We have a lot of options open to us and a lot of support being provided that can allow us to sustain and grow," he said.

 

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