HOWE — The former Howe Military School campus in Howe is about to become busy again.
The 50-plus acre site, home of the Howe Military Academy for more than 135 years, closed in 2019 in part due to declining enrollment and was put up for sale.
Phil Malone, president of the school’s board of directors, announced that World Olivet Assembly purchased the school. A New York-based religious organization, Olivet paid $3 million in cash for the property and its buildings. Malone said he handed over the keys to the campus June 17. Olivet said workers will start the task of rehabilitating several of the campus buildings within two weeks so the organization can use its classrooms and dormitories for students this fall.
Malone said Olivet bought the campus sight unseen after viewing aerial photographs of Howe online.
According to a news release issued by Olivet, the Howe campus will become an educational facility for the World Olivet Assembly. The release says the organization plans to move forward quickly with maintenance and campus enhancement activities. At full capacity, it expects the Howe campus to accommodate 400 students, as well as faculty and staff.
Malone said Olivet leaders told him they plan to have students on campus this fall, meeting all state-issued COVID-19 recommendations for educational institutions.
On its website, the World Olivet Assembly, which said it consists of an international assembly of churches and ministries, described itself as “a global gathering of evangelical churches and para-church organizations existing for the advancement of world mission.”
Phone calls placed to World Olivet Assembly’s offices in New York to address the purchase of the Howe campus were not returned.
Malone said the Howe board of directors would gather one last time to formally dissolve and create a smaller organization that will act as a foundation overseeing the funds raised by the sale of the property and using those monies as an endowment.