October 22, 2014

Medina
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New York church buys Seville Elementary School for seminary

A New York-based church group has purchased the former Seville Elementary School, 24 E. Main St., and plans to renovate it into a seminary and educational center. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

A New York-based church group has purchased the former Seville Elementary School, 24 E. Main St., and plans to renovate it into a seminary and educational center. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

A New York-based South Korean Christian church plans to renovate the former Seville Elementary School into a seminary and possibly an educational center.

Juyoung Joanna Choi, president of the Nyskc Foundation, and her sister, Jinyoung Choi, purchased the building, at 24 E. Main. St., in September for $70,000.

The sisters’ father, the Rev. Goshen Choi, is the pastor of the church in Sunnyside, Queens, N.Y.

Juyoung Joanna Choi

Juyoung Joanna Choi

Juyoung Joanna Choi outlined plans for the building at Monday’s meeting of the Seville Village Zoning and Planning Commission.

“We want to work with Seville, support Seville,” Choi said.

Pete Fontana, the commission’s acting chairman, noted that Choi had been working with commission member Rick Stallard, who is the village’s director of economic development.

“You are very welcome here,” Fontana said. “This sounds like a really great project.”

In an interview with The Gazette, Choi said her father founded the church in 1993 and has expanded in recent years by establishing the Nyskc World Mission, with eight affiliates in the U.S. and missions in nine counties.

Choi said the church is associated with the Presbyterian denomination, and estimated it now has about 4,000 members worldwide.

Choi said her father had been searching for a suitable building in a number of states, including Pennsylvania and Kansas.

“He has been praying and praying and researched a lot of different buildings,” she said, before learning about the Seville building, which was advertised on the Internet.

The deal was negotiated by Seville attorney Stanley D. Scheetz.

“He was extremely helpful and kind,” Choi said.

Scheetz represented the owner, Jeffrey Daniels, an investor from Orient, Ohio, who paid $37,200 for the school building in February 2013 when it was put up for auction by the Cloverleaf School District.

The Seville school was one of three neighborhood elementary schools in the Cloverleaf district that were consolidated into a single new elementary school as a cost-saving measure. The other schools were in Westfield Center and Lodi.

Choi said about $30,000 already has been spent renovating the building — the oldest portions built in 1892, according the Medina County Auditor’s records.

She estimated at least $70,000 more would be spent.

Choi said the church is working to get the seminary accredited and hoped it would be open by next year.

Choi said the public is invited to an open house, planned for April 30.

She said the event would feature a chamber group, but added, “We’re looking for local musicians, too.”

Contact reporter David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.