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Colgate Rochester Divinity School to be converted into hotel

The four story main building on the Colgate Rochester Crozer divinity school campus will soon house traveling guests instead of students.

Rochester, N.Y. - New plans are on the way for the historic Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.

The four story main building on the Colgate Rochester Crozer divinity school campus will soon house traveling guests instead of students.

Colgate is selling the 24-acre property to local development company Top Capital New York.

"We bought this property because of the beauty of the campus and the beautiful buildings," said Jim Payne, the director of marketing for Top Capital of New York.

This 90-year-old building will become a hotel and conference center.

"Because it was a college there are lecture halls and classrooms and things that will work out really well for conferences and events that we'll be having at the building."

Plans for the hotel are still in the early planning stages. So the look and design has yet to be determined.

The developer tells 13WHAM they plan to keep the historic charm of buildings, and its breathtaking view on one of Rochester’s highest hills.

"We're very passionate about saving it and making it something that everyone can enjoy."

Colgate has been trying to sell the property for the past 20 years. The vice president for institutional advancement said Top Capital’s hotel plan was the best fit.

Maintenance for a campus this size has been challenging as enrollment dwindles.

There is 2 million dollars worth of work that needs to be done.

"Part of the project includes a separate building for the Divinity School. That two and half story facility will be at the corner of Highland Avenue and South Goodman."

"Our students need all the benefits of a modern technologically advanced setting,” said Thomas McDade Clay, the vice president for institutional advancement at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. "This facility, though, beautiful simply does not have the things that we would need to do in terms of distant learning and technology and in some respects things like air conditioning."

The developer plans to invest $36 million.

"We still want to take something beautiful and polish it up and make it really the shiniest diamond around."

McDade Clay said this is win-win for the school and community.

"The great benefit is we continue to enjoy all the beauty of this campus while also being in a new facility without the primary responsibility of doing the snow plowing and maintenance all that comes with maintaining a campus of this size."

The Divinity School is expected to move into its new home in 2018.

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