Updated 04/04/2012 05:09 PM
Glens Falls planning board approves Salvation Army's move to vacant church
The Salvation Army's history in Glens Falls dates back more than 120 years, but for the past three decades, they've been stuck in an outdated facility. Our Matt Hunter reports.
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GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -– Like almost any century old building still in use, the Salvation Army's headquarters in Glens Falls has its share of issues.
"We actually have water damage on the third floor, the second floor,” Major David Dean said. “It's now coming into the first floor, which is where all of our computers and administrative workers and all of my employees work."
On top of that, Dean says the basement floods nearly every time it rains.
When that expensive upkeep was added to the organization's rising demand to serve a struggling community, it became clear to board members a change was needed.
"The life of the building is quickly coming to an end and we've been looking to relocate to the right place for the last 20 to 30 years," Dean said.
After nearly three decades of searching, the organization is finally poised to make a move. On Tuesday night, the Glens Falls Planning Board approved the Salvation Army's plan to leave Chester Street and move to the currently vacant St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church on Broad Street.
"It's nice to get a stamp of approval from them saying go ahead and clear the next hurdle and we'll keep moving together with you on this project," Dean said.
Despite the planning board's approval, the deal is not final. The Salvation Army still needs to come up with funds to purchase the church from the Albany Catholic Diocese.
Dean says in addition to selling its two current properties in Glens Falls, the organization will use leftover funds from a past capital campaign.
"Hopefully we'll be in the ballpark of purchase price. I don't think it's going to cover it all,” Dean said. “But then we're going to come to the community to help us raise money to do all of the renovations on both properties that we'll be able to go in and hopefully use for the next 55 years over there as well."
While Dean would not comment on the terms of the deal or the sale price, city officials tell us St. Alphonsus Church is worth more than $1 million.
Dean expects to move into the new location by the first of the year.