Sustainable Development

sustainable development

For us, restoring an older building was less about nostalgia and more about helping a local economy.

40% of the buildings in Glens Falls are not generating property tax.

It can be challenging for a city to generate funds and prosper when many buildings sit vacant. Without those necessary taxes, schools and other social services face gaps in financial support and can become a crippling problem for a small town.

JUST was able to play a small part in putting at least one of those buildings back on the tax rolls while also inheriting a little piece of the city’s history.

Former U.S Post Office in Downtown Glens Falls being redeveloped.

So we bought a church

When we set out to set up our first facility, we desired to take an existing, abandoned building and put it back on the city’s tax rolls.

Part of investing in a community is to take a presence in the heart of it and use your investment energy to help drive restoration.

Glens Falls, like so many cities across America, have many historic buildings that can be working harder for them.

 

Watch

“We bought a church”

Then we learned even more

As we explored the possibility of repurposing an abandoned church, we learned that its current owner was the Salvation Army of Glens Falls. When Salvation Army purchased a vacant school to use as an office, the church came along as part of the deal, but continued to sit empty. The Salvation Army was eager to sell the church as it was a big financial drag on the charity.

For JUST, it meant that buying this church was both helping the city and the Salvation Army of Glens Falls.

"Having the church and the school on our books was really difficult. We have a few long hard winters where energy prices were steep. Keeping up the building was diverting money away from our mission in the community."

Major David Dean - Director of the Glens Falls Salvation Army

“Having the church and the school on our books was really difficult. We have a few long hard winters where energy prices were steep. Keeping up the building was diverting money away from our mission in the community.”

Major David Dean – Director of the Glens Falls Salvation Army

Before we went to work

Before we went to work converting the building we wanted to learn a little about the history of the church. It has meant a lot to the community for over a century.

  • The St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic parish was formed around 1850 in a wooden church at 31 Broad Street. This red brick church was built over it in 1855. It was a proud place for mainly French-Canadian millworkers and small business owners at the time..

  • Sadly… the original church burned down on January 12, 1955.

  • In 1956 a new church was built and remained open until 2010 when two parishes merged leaving St. Alphonsus church vacant. Photos courtesy of Glens Falls Firefighting Heritage Association

  • JUST acquired the vacant building from the Glens Falls Salvation Army in 2014

Watch a time lapse movie of the early days of the first JUST facility

Keep it local

92%

Ninety-two percent of the money invested in the making of our first facility stayed in the single 518 area code.

Energy Efficiency

We have a very tall facility only need to heat or cool the areas where people are working. Nine inches of new concrete were laid to enlist the pre-existing radiant heating in the floor. This bottom-up approach to heating allows more efficiency with our energy use.

Quality Control

The JUST in-house lab was built with regimen developed under the guidance of a world water safety and quality authority. In addition strong quality control and assurance measures requiring hourly testing of our water, we also have ongoing testing rigor with an external lab that is certified by the Department of Health’s Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP).

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