School district offers to buy church for offices at twice assessed value

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Poughkeepsie City School District (PCSD) is considering the purchase of a non-denominational church for office and student activities.

The District School Board (BOE) is set to discuss the $1.8 million purchase of Changepoint Church at the corner of Mill Street and Civic Center Plaza at the BOE workshop meeting in Wednesday evening.

Change Point Church. 2015 photo by Dutchess County ParcelAccess.

District spokesman Irwin Goldberg said discussion plans began in “spring 2022.” Located at 260 Mill Street, the church has a fully functioning theater/meeting space with modern audio-visual capabilities. The theater has been used for many public events, including Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison’s “state of the city” speeches.

According to Goldberg, “The Poughkeepsie City School District has several plans for the space. The space will primarily be used to house district central office functions, school board meetings, and community functions. As part of the The district’s ongoing investment in arts education, the facility will also be used to expand opportunities for PCSD K-12 students, including performance spaces and student learning.

Funding to buy, according to the PCSD, comes from a capital reserve fund that was developed with an insurance payment for the 11 College Avenue property that was destroyed. There will be no tax impact on the community for the purchase of this property, according to Goldberg.

District officials said the district’s legal counsel and business office, together with the district’s unnamed real estate broker, reviewed the plans and determined that the property’s fair market value matches the asking price. Since 2019, the district has been looking for a new site for the administrative offices.

Asked about the nearly $2 million purchase price, the district said, “The property is at market value.” A search of county records shows the building, built in 1900 and comprising 0.83 acres of property, is valued at $837,000. In 2013 the property was sold to the current owner in 2013 for $850,000.

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