A building attached to a long-closed Schenectady Street church collapsed early Monday.
Firefighters were called to the building at 535 Schenectady St. just before 9 a.m. Monday. Neighbors reported hearing it collapse in the overnight hours, but fire crews weren’t called until later, Fire Chief Michael Della Rocco said.
The building had long been vacant, he said. It did have some history of break-ins and small fires, he said, but city officials were satisfied that no one was inside the building when it collapsed.
The building was soon declared a hazard and preparations made to demolish it. A request for emergency bids went out, with Ditonno & Sons Demolition turning in the winning bid. The bid amount was not available, but similar buildings generally cost about $50,000 to take down, city building inspector Eric Shilling said.
Demolition is expected to begin today and be completed in a few days.
As to who will pay for the demolition, Shilling said city officials were still trying to track down the owner Monday afternoon. But, he said, they’re not optimistic that route will yield enough money to pay for the demolition.
The building’s most recent owner in county records is an organization called “Christian Faith Church,” with an address on State Street. That group took control of the property in 1991.
The complex was originally part of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. The church building itself has a different owner, officials said. The demolition is expected to only take down the attached building, leaving the old church intact.
As for why the building collapsed, officials cited years of exposure to the weather as weakening it.
“Mother Nature just brought it to a point where it’s on our plate now,” Shilling said.