School district proposes buying church for offices at twice the assessed value

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Changepoint Church. 2020 Mid-Hudson News file photo.

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

The district’s board of education is set to discuss the $1.8 million purchase of the Changepoint Church at the corner of Mill Street and Civic Center Plaza at Wednesday night’s board workshop meeting.

ChangePoint Church. 2015 photo by Dutchess County ParcelAccess.

District Spokesperson Irwin Goldberg said plans for the discussion began in the “Spring of 2022.”  Located at 260 Mill Street, the church has a fully-functional 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” addresses.

According to Goldberg, ” The Poughkeepsie City School District has multiple plans for the space. Primarily, the space will be used to house the district’s central office functions, Board of Education meetings, and community functions. As part of the district’s continued investment into Arts Education, the facility will also be used to expand opportunities for district K-12 students, inclusive of performance spaces and student learning.”

The funding to purchase, according to the school district, is coming from a capital reserve fund that was developed with an insurance payout for the 11 College Avenue property that was destroyed. There will not be a tax impact on the community for the purchase of this property, according to Goldberg.

District officials said the its legal counsel and business office, working in collaboration with the district’s real estate broker, unnamed, have reviewed plans and determined that the fair market value for the property is aligned with the asking price. The district has been searching for a new site for administrative offices since 2019.

When asked about the purchase price of nearly $2 million, the district said “The property is at market value.”  A search of county records indicates that the building, constructed in 1900, and includes .83 acres of property, is assessed at $837,000. In 2013, the property was sold to the current owner in 2013 for $850,000.