The sale of almost the entire campus of Morris Brown College to the city of Atlanta and Friendship Baptist Church remains up in the air due to an objection from Clark Atlanta University.
Attorneys from each side argued their cases Thursday in bankruptcy court in downtown Atlanta.
Clark Atlanta attorneys contend a potential $14.6 million buyout deal shouldn’t go through due to a prior agreement between the two historically black schools. The agreement says if certain Morris Brown property is ever not being used for education purposes, Clark Atlanta automatically gains control of it.
Morris Brown and its partners reject that claim and say the prior agreement doesn’t apply to the proposed buyout deal.
The joint offer from the city of Atlanta – through its economic development arm Invest Atlanta – and Friendship Baptist would allow Morris Brown to retain control of key school buildings.
At Thursday’s hearing, Morris Brown President Stanley Pritchett said the deal was “in the best interest of the institution” and would allow the school to begin the process of regaining its accreditation.
Morris Brown filed for bankruptcy in August 2012 with $30 million in debt. Most of that was owed to the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In an earlier hearing, the church filed an objection to the sale, but that has since been dropped.
A ruling in the case is expected Wednesday.
Clark Atlanta attorney David Wender says if the buyout deal is allowed, Clark Atlanta will likely file an appeal in state court.