County buys former GCC site in Albion, 25 vacant acres for nearly $1.5 million

Photo by Tom Rivers: The former Genesee Community College site on West Avenue in Albion has bene purchased by Orleans County for $975,000. The building will be used for Probation and the District Attorney’s Office. The county also bought 25.7 of vacant land adjacent to the site for $500,000.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 October 2023 at 3:55 pm

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature agreed to spend $1,475,000 to acquire the former building used for Genesee Community College in Albion and 25.7 vacant acres adjacent to the property.

GCC hasn’t had classes at 456 West Ave. for several years. The county will buy the site from Herring Enterprises of Holley for $975,000.

The Legislature also agreed to pay James Herring Sr. $500,000 for 25.7 acres of vacant land adjacent to the site with a lot off Allen Road.

The county will move the Probation Department and District Attorney’s office out of the Public Safety Building and into the former GCC site.

“This purchase allows us to correct some deficiencies at the current PSB that we will be able to complete without bonding for a brand-new facility,” said Jack Welch, the county’s chief administrative officer.

The Public Safety Building has been the home for Probation, the DA’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office and the 911 dispatch center for the past 25 years. But that building has challenges, especially with a big flat roof. It will soon get a new HVAC system to help with heating issues in the building.

Once Probation and the DA’s Office move to the former GCC site, the building will be reconfigured for the Sheriff’s Office to allow for a more efficient operation, Welch said

The county had a consultant study the Public Safety Building, and the conclusion was the county should move its operations out of the site, which was once a building for furniture sales.

Welch said the vacant land gives the county’s additional options for the future, with no project planned right away.

“Vacant land is not guaranteed to be around forever,” he said.

The is the second straight month the county has purchased a building in Albion. Last month the Legislature approved spending $250,000 for the former Bank of America site at 156 S. Main St. It will become the treasurer’s office in 2024. That building has a drive-through and is more easily accessible than the current office on East Park Street, county officials said.