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Another new opportunity: University purchases empty church with donated funds

With donated funds, the University has purchased the former Mount Vernon Seventh-day Adventist City Church building on South Edgewood Road.

Although the use for the building has not been determined yet, MVNU President Dr. Henry Spaulding is excited for the opportunities that it will provide for MVNU.

The building includes 10,572 square feet, and sits on five acres of land. It is less than a mile from the back entrance to MVNU’s campus.

So far, there has been casual talk of moving the MVNU preschool, which operates out of the first floor of the Clarence and Jennie Moore building. Spaulding said this week that the church would be a good fit for the preschool.

The space, which includes a large kitchen, also could be used as an expanded student center where students can gather for formal and casual activities, Spaulding said. It could even host a haunted house at Halloween, or student activities such as eSports.

The building can also build connections in the community. If a church would like to rent it, the University would be open to that discussion, Spaulding said.

Campus officials are asking for ideas and input from students and staff for other possible uses for the space.

“A final decision for the purpose of the church will be made in the spring,” Spaulding said.

The Ohio Conference of Seventh Day Adventists decided to sell the building after City Church merged with another church last year due to a decline in membership.

The combined group now worships at the Mount Vernon Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church on Wooster Road.

Although the City Church no longer has a physical building, its presence is still felt in the community through a weekly hot meal program offered every Saturday night at Mount Vernon Adventist Elementary.

According to the Knox County Auditor’s Office, the property was purchased for $425,000. The sale was finalized on Oct. 30. The University did not say who donated funds for the purchase.

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