Diocese completes sale of Niagara Catholic property

File photoThe Catholic Diocese of Buffalo confirmed Thursday that the former Niagara Catholic Junior-Senior High School building on 66th Street in Niagara Falls has been sold to The Chapel at CrossPoint, a megachurch in Erie County with congregations in Niagara. The sale price was announced as $750,000.

The sale of the former Niagara Catholic Junior-Senior High School was finalized Thursday. 

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo announced that the property, which includes the former St. Dominic Savio Middle School, was purchased by The Chapel at CrossPoint, a megachurch in Erie County with congregations in Niagara, for $750,000. 

The two buildings on the former Niagara Catholic property consist of about 85,000 square feet, according to the diocese. The chapel will use part of the site's footprint for an altar and seating area. The Niagara Community Center, which sits adjacent to the old school campus and offers youth programming, was unaffected by the sale.

Chapel officials have said they intend to use the site, located at 540 66th St., for religious and community activities related to their ministry. 

"Proceeds from the sale of the property will be used to support Catholic education," said Kathy Spangler, diocese spokesperson. 

The school was established in 1975 in the traditions of the former St. Mary’s, Bishop Duffy and Madonna high schools. A number of education organizations had existed at the site before the 1970s.

The buildings were originally marketed by the diocese for $1.15 million. The Niagara Falls City School District explored acquisition last year but declined to submit an offer after the diocese school abruptly closed last summer.

Niagara Catholic officials described the closure as a result of budget cuts. It was one of seven diocesan affiliated schools to suffer cutbacks in 2018.

 

Niagara Catholic Principal and President Robert Cluckey described the decision as “a very sad but realistic one, given the economics and stark realities of financial factors and enrollment trends in Niagara County.”

The chapel's main location is in the hamlet of Getzville, but it operates four other sites and has an existing congregation of about 250 parishioners in the Cataract City that meet on Sundays in the Regal Cinemas theater off Niagara Falls Boulevard. 

The Falls Campus Pastor, Johnathan Drake, leads worship services for about 250 parishioners at the cinema and previously told the Niagara Gazette he expects the congregation to grow.

"They’re so excited to have their church in their hometown," Drake said.

The religious organization has additional campuses in the City of Lockport on Walnut Street and in the towns of Cheektowaga and Amherst. 

The ministry is known to establish community partnerships in its facilities and with faith-based organizations that have satellite locations.  

 

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