Glenville, Mekeel Christian seek options for unused building

The former school on Cypress Drive, owned by Mekeel Christian Academy, is pictured on Thursday.

The former school on Cypress Drive, owned by Mekeel Christian Academy, is pictured on Thursday.

GLENVILLE – The town is working with the Mekeel Christian Academy to figure out what to do with a now defunct property the school owns at 50 Cypress Drive that is causing concern among residents in the neighborhood. 

Sharon Becker has lived on the far end of Cypress Road away from the property for 30 years. In the most recent years she’s noticed the grass get taller and taller. Recently, while out biking with her husband she noticed smashed windows, the glass spread around the building. 

“It was always a disarray,” she said. “They never really kept up with the building.”

She’s now concerned about people entering the property. 

“It’s away enough from people’s houses that at night people could do whatever they want on the property,” she said.

The property has been cited for code violations, but documents show the academy has addressed concerns in the past. 

In 2020 the town code office issued a demolition permit for the building, according to information provided by the town. However, the building has not been demolished as the town and academy seek other options for the property. 

“We are working closely with the town to ensure the best possible outcome for the neighborhood and all interested parties,” said Chad Bowman, the head of the academy. “Our goal of creating a long-term solution that is in the best interest of the Glenville community remains steadfast.”

In 2016 the Academy purchased the building at 50 Cypress Drive from the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District for $535,000. The property is assessed at almost $1.3 million, according to 2021 assessment rolls. 

Bowman had said the plan was to use the building to house international students and then turn it into a K-12 school for around 300 to 400 students. 

He said it was being used to house international students until COVID hit and many people weren’t traveling. He also said the Academy invested a couple hundred thousand dollars in the building. 

On July 2 the town code office ruled the building should not be occupied but should be maintained so it is not a safety issue in the neighborhood. 

Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle said minors have been trespassing on the property. 

Koetzle said he’s continuing to look into solutions for the use of the property. Plans to use the property for solar panels fell through, he said. Now, he said he’s looking into grants to have the building demolished and is talking to developers to build single-family homes on the property.

But Becker wants to see more action by the town.  “I don’t want to just hear we’re talking to people,” she said.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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