Last May, the CRCDS Board of Trustees voted unanimously to enter into an agreement to sell the current CRCDS campus on South Goodman Street in Rochester, NY. This decision was the culmination of two decades of conversations and discussions about the suitability of the current campus to meet the ongoing and future needs of the CRCDS mission. The Trustees and I concluded that the campus we have called home for almost 90 years no longer meets the needs of CRCDS and cannot be suitably adapted with the school’s limited financial resources.
Once this decision was made, the Trustees and I focused on two primary objectives: 1) identify a new home for CRCDS that will allow it to focus its resources on its mission; 2) find a buyer for the campus that will continue to steward it in a way that preserves its integrity and beauty for years to come. I am delighted to report that through a partnership with the Rochester based firm Top Capital of New York, we were able to achieve both objectives…and will be able to do this without leaving the current campus location.
Top Capital of New York has agreed to construct a new academic space for CRCDS in the southwest corner of the current campus, along Highland Avenue. This new facility will be customized to meet the needs of 21st century theological education, while remaining consistent with the overall appearance of the campus. The partnership will allow CRCDS to lease the new purpose-built space while providing continued access to broader resources of the current campus buildings, including large gathering spaces and the historic and beloved Samuel Colgate Memorial Chapel. This decision moves us significantly toward one of the primary objectives of our strategic plan – to create a sustainable and vibrant future for CRCDS. We will now be able to focus more fully on our core mission of providing transformative theological educaton, without the burden of a large, aging physical plant.
I know many of you are concerned about the future of the campus and its buildings. I will share with you that Top Capital intends to significantly invest in restoring the campus and adapting Strong Hall into a wedding, event and conference center that includes rooms for guests. Of all the proposals we have seen and reviewed over two decades, the Trustees and I both are confident this agreement will provide the best opportunity to preserve both the beauty and integrity of the campus, including the grounds, while also significantly benefitting the future of CRCDS. It also will allow the public to continue to enjoy the beauty of the campus in ways never experienced. We are truly grateful for this partnership.
We will have more details to share with you in the upcoming Annual Report. Until that time, I ask for your prayers as we continue on this significant phase of our journey. We thank God for each and every one of you and for the opportunity to serve and to steward this wonderful school and its mission.
Thank you, again, for your support, concern and patience as we travel through this process. I wish you all a blessed Lenten journey as we prepare to celebrate the Easter season.
Marvin A. McMickle