Sinclair Community College is expected to take ownership of Far Hills Church in Centerville on Friday, extending the school’s reach into a prospering corridor of the Dayton region.
The college’s board of trustees has approved an agreement to pay $9.65 million for the church and its 40 acres at 5800 Clyo Road in Centerville near Miami Valley Hospital South. The church will give the school a credit of $75,000 at closing, according to the agreement.
Sinclair officials had originally said they hoped to close on the property by the end of March but were delayed by the need to finalize aspects of the deal and a 30-day wait period once the property was rezoned.
Sinclair will spend $250,000 on “minor renovations” to turn the facility into a new learning center, said spokesman Adam Murka.
The new facility will add Sinclair’s presence to a growing part of the area. The building is near Wilmington Pike and Interstate 675, giving students access to a major highway and putting them just 15 minutes away from growing business hubs such as Austin Landing.
The learning center also adds to the community college’s list of satellite facilities, which include locations in Eaton, Englewood, Huber Heights and Mason. The college also offers classes at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and in area high schools.
Classes at the Centerville facility will begin in the spring of 2019 but Sinclair administrators have yet to decide what classes will be offered at the former church, Murka said.
“We are very excited about the possibility of new ways to serve the southern Montgomery County community…we see this Centerville location as a natural way to serve students and the community,” spokesman Adam Murka said.
The church will “move out in phases,” and will begin leaving the facility immediately after the sale closes on April 20, according to the agreement. Church leaders will maintain office space in the facility throughout the next year and a half.
In January, the state controlling board approved Sinclair’s request to spend more than $9.6 million on the 100,000 square-foot facility which already has around 20 classrooms.
The building, less than a mile from I-675 and near Wilmington Pike, also includes a childcare facility, a coffee shop and cafe area, a kitchen, two gymnasiums and an auditorium that seats 1,500 people, according to documents provided by Sinclair.
Since Sinclair first expressed interest in buying the church in July, school leaders have worked with city leaders to address concerns of traffic, noise and light, according to the agreement.
One of the last steps in the process required Centerville’s zoning board to rezone the church property so it could be used for as a learning center. The rezoning came late last month and afterward Sinclair president Steve Johnson tweeted at the city’s deputy mayor that Sinclair would “work to make you proud.”
“We’re very excited about the potential for Sinclair coming to Centerville and the partnerships that they will bring to our community,” said Wayne Davis, Centerville city manager.
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