Sunday, February 19, 2023

More details about Immaculate Conception School, set to close this spring

Photo by Steven

This past week, the Archdiocese of New York announced that 12 Catholic schools will cease operations at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.

In a letter to parishioners dated Wednesday, Immaculate Conception pastor Father Kevin Nelan said that the school, down to 135 students in K-8, was expected to lose around $900,000 over the past two years.

"The parish can no longer sustain such deficits," he wrote.
Our Town talked with parents about the closing.
"A lot of the parents are shell shocked," said Carolyn Colon, a mom of a seventh-grade son who also runs the parish Scouting program. She said it comes at a particularly difficult time because parents in seventh grade were starting to scout for high schools and getting ready to take the Catholic school high school admission test early in the 8th grade. "We'll be losing the one person we thought could help us through the admission process," she said, referring to 8th-grade teacher Joan Wise.

And what about the future of the school building between Avenue A and First Avenue?

"I'm sure some vultures [will be] coming around," said Father Nelan. But he said since it shares a lot of facilities with the church, it would be hard to separate. He said he could see renting out the gym to someone like neighborhood pickleballers looking for space. But of the school building, he said, "We'd hope we can help the non-profits and stay in the religion business."


Anonymous said...

From someone who attended the school from Kindergarten to Eighth Grade: complicated feelings about this. Can’t say “rest in peace,” can’t bring myself to say “good riddance.” Good peace?

I was a good student (and in my last year of college, still am), but my time there was still kind of miserable— something between the strictness cliches you expect from a Catholic school and the increasingly awkward disconnect between the school and the surround community didn’t make for the most joyful experience. The pandemic might have driven a financial deficit, but I feel like closure has been looming on the horizon since at least the mid-2010s.

At the same, it was an anchor for many immigrant families like mine, despite all the changes. A staple for a lot of EV kids past and present.

A lot of my peers are ready to break out the champagne. I dunno, I’m ready for a modest funeral service. (And then maybe some booze.)

Brian Van said...

We talk so much about needing community space... is that possible here and at St. Brigid's?