The Fairview Park City Schools plans to use its newly acquired property on West 220th Street as a professional development center.
The district’s purchase of New Hope Church was finalized at the end of April. The sale price was $679,500, Superintendent Brion Deitsch said.
Ironically, New Hope purchased its property from the school district for $10,000 in the 1950s, according to the Rev. Dan Sewell, pastor of New Hope Church.
Sewell has said his congregation has outgrown its current home and is seeking a bigger location.
New Hope is not looking for traditional worship space, Sewell said.
Sewell said the congregation is looking at a variety of sites – both existing structures and vacant lots – but no purchase is imminent.
“We’re just in the beginning stages of investigating different options,” he told West Life.
New Hope’s goal, Sewell said, is to identify or purchase a property by this fall.
Under the sale agreement, the New Hope congregation has two years to vacate the 1.41-acre property.
Deitsch said the district has two main plans for the property. First, the church’s sanctuary will be used as a conference center for professional development sessions for personnel from Fairview Park and other area districts. The district had rented space at area hotels to hold such conferences, Deitsch said. Creating a conference center at the former church will not only save the district money, the superintendent said, but also create a revenue stream through renting out the center for other districts.
The second use of the church will be to house a work area for the district’s technology department. Director Ed Sobczynski and his staff will use a room or rooms in the church to do repair work on the laptop computers used by students. The district’s technology department also intends to perform computer repair work for area districts, thus bringing in additional revenue, Deitsch said.
The superintendent also said the district may expand the parking lot at New Hope Church for its bus fleet. During the school day, the fleet is now parked at the former Board of Education offices on Lorain Road. The district is close to completing a deal to sell that property to the city. The city in turn will sell it to O’Neill Management, which plans an assisted living and nursing home facility for the property.
Deitsch said the district is looking at a number of options concerning the parking location of its bus fleet, but that the New Hope lot option makes the most sense.
The east end of the church’s property abuts the Fairview Park Schools’ Early Education Center, formerly Parkview Intermediate School, located on Mastick Road. The property purchase gives the district’s Early Education Center access to West 220th Street for future use, Deitsch said. The additional property also gives the district options for possible expansion somewhere down the road, he said.