Thursday, January 1, 2009

New uses for a few former Catholic school buildings

The Catholic Courier has posted a report of how various parishes are finding new uses for some of the Catholic school buildings closed by Bishop Clark last June.  Of the 13 schools closed by the bishop only two have found new tenants and a third has one lined up.

  • The former St. Monica's School building is now the home of a new charter school, the Rochester Academy of Math and Science.
  • The former Holy Apostles School building is now being used by the Rochester City School District to house its I’m Ready program, which offers a central location for students to learn while on long-term suspension.
  • Finally, the former St. Boniface School building may soon be leased to Nativity Preparatory Academy.  The academy is a new, independent, Catholic middle school for at-risk Rochester children in grades 5 to 8, sponsored by the Jesuits of the New York Province and the Sisters of St. Joseph.

It's good that these buildings are now bringing in some revenue to offset the costs of the maintenance and upkeep, but that still leaves 10 buildings that have become serious financial drains on their respective parishes. 

Most - if not all - of these parishes are trying to find tenants for their empty buildings, but that search is often complicated by the fact that these buildings are also used for such things as religious ed and CYO sports programs.


Anonymous said...

I see in the same article from the Courier that the former catholic churches are being sold or have been sold to protestant denominations.

Mike said...

Yes, Anon., I saw that too. I suppose it's a good thing that otherwise empty church buildings are being "recycled."

What concerns me more are the active parishes who now have empty school buildings that no longer bring in revenue but which still must be heated and otherwise maintained.

DOR, as the result of closing 13 schools last June, has avoided what it claims would have been large financial losses. While that may be true (hard to tell for sure, as none of their data has been made public), they most certainly have inflicted financial burdens on the parishes that lost their schools, without any apparent concern for the parishes involved.