The Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School is moving to a new location for the first time in almost 90 years.
Next spring, the theological school will leave its historic campus on South Goodman Street and take over a soon-to-be renovated space at Village Gate.
President Marvin McMickle says it's a practical and financial decision that was made by a task force appointed by the school's board of trustees. The South Goodman campus was built as a residential college but in the past decade, it's become almost an entirely commuter school.
McMickle says former students who were there during the days when it was largely residential do have an emotional attachment to the campus.
"But once you tell them that world no longer exists and that the mission of the school is not in real estate and property, but in delivering theological education suitable for its new time, really, our alumni have been among our biggest supporters."
The relocation will also bring the school and its mission closer to the community, McMickle noted, with street level access and greater visibility.
"No more iron fences; no more winding roads; no more mountain retreats. We're coming where, in the 21st century, if you want to have a ministry that's in Rochester, come a little closer to where the people are."
McMickle foresees the move to the Neighborhood of the Arts allowing for opportunities to work on social justice, education, neighborhood development, and anti-poverty initiatives. Offices for the United Way of Greater Rochester, Out Alliance, and the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative are nearby.
"I think once we're there, the give and go of interaction will become almost automatic," he said.
A local developer has submitted a bid on the original divinity school on South Goodman Street, but the sale has not been finalized.
Last year, the Rochester Preservation Board granted landmark status to the nearly 24-acre campus.