Jul 23, 2013 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
The congregation of the Liverpool Community Church, which has occupied the historic Zogg building for 10 years, has decided to sell the property.
The 85-year-old brick building stands at 800 Fourth St. in the village of Liverpool. Originally constructed in 1928 to become home to the junior and senior high schools, the structure’s adjacent ball fields stretch two blocks north to Sixth Street. The entire property is bounded by Birch, Fourth, Hickory and Sixth streets in the center of the village.
A Free Methodist church, LCC purchased the property in 2003 from the Liverpool Central School District, which had been housing its administrative offices there since the early 1980s. The church paid $5,000 for the property and formally pledged to make $404,000 worth of needed repairs, including a new front door, an elevator and renovated offices and classrooms.
The current chairman of the church’s Exit Committee, Joe Frega, said he doesn’t know yet what kind of response they’ll get from potential buyers.
“It’s early in process,” Frega said. “We decided to sell at a church-wide business meeting on July 14, so we haven’t even listed it yet.”
Another congregation member said the church has been in touch with several area realtors. Pastor Ken Tesch was unavailable for comment.
The building last functioned as a school when it was known as A.V. Zogg Middle School, which closed after 1980-81 academic year. It was called the Zogg Administrative Building for more than two decades. In 2002 the LCSD Board of Education considered demolishing the building and turning the property into residential parcels.
Citizen protests convinced the board to seek alternatives, and the village of Liverpool briefly considered purchasing the property but backed off when the church confirmed its offer. LCC finalized its purchase in October 2003 and later moved from 7570 Oswego Road in Clay to the village location.
The village planning board negotiated an agreement in which the LCC affirmed its willingness to allow “access to the building for reasonable uses by community groups.” The village board of trustees, then headed by Mayor Marlene Ward, requested that the church maintain the green areas north of the building and the tennis courts along Birch Street.
At the village trustees meeting on July 15, current Mayor Gary White said he was anxious to review the sales contract between LCSD and LCC.
“I want to find out if everything they agreed to — especially that $400,000 in repairs — was actually done,” White said. “That’s a big parcel right there in the heart of the village. We have to be concerned.”