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Dowling College to get new lifeDowling College to get new life

Long Island school sold for $14 millionLong Island school sold for $14 million

A New York college that offered an aviation program that was once ranked among the nation's best has new owners with aviation-related plans. Property and facilities of Dowling College near Long Island’s South Bay will be transformed into an aviation business hub, Newsday reported June 4.

The Dowling College of aviation on Long Island near South Bay will soon have a new lease on life. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

The 105-acre Brookhaven campus with 70 dorm rooms, an athletic complex, an aircraft hangar, and a treasure trove of aviation history was sold for $14 million to Triple Five Aviation Industries. The group plans to utilize the facility and redevelop additional real estate nearby into an “aviation business hub,” the newspaper reported.

A property listing touted the potential for a high-density mixed-use development or an academic institution and promoted the college’s location “adjacent to Brookhaven Airport." The airport has fixed-base operations, maintenance facilities, flight training, and sailplane operations.

Sealed bids for the 70,000-square-foot dormitory, office, classroom, hangar, and athletic space were taken through Jan. 25. Bankruptcy records indicate the Brookhaven assets were valued at about $42 million.

Dowling declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016, and documents published on the college’s website noted that the school hoped to “maximize the value of Dowling’s substantial real estate assets through a comprehensive marketing and sale strategy.”

Documents filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court’s Eastern District of New York noted 13 cars, trucks, or vans; two boat trailers; several boats; machinery; and fixtures among its assets. A line indicating “aircraft and accessories” was left blank.

The cable TV channel News 12 Long Island noted the college's Oakdale campus included a stone-and-brick mansion known as “Idle Hour” built in 1903 by William K. Vanderbilt that sold for $26.1 million in 2017.

The college offered bachelor’s and master’s degree programs until 2016, when financial trouble forced it to close in August after a long struggle to keep the institution operating.

The Dowling College aviation program was once ranked among the 25 best in the country, and was the “second best in New York,” according to a previous edition of Pilot-Colleges, a website that lists aviation-oriented college programs.

Attempts to contact Dowling’s new owners were not successful.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Flight School

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