Bayonne moves to put ‘down payment’ on Marist High School

Mount Carmel also up for sale

  1 / 2 
Bayonne officials move to purchase closed Catholic schools.
  2 / 2 
Mount Carmel School on 22nd Street.
×
  1 / 2 
Bayonne officials move to purchase closed Catholic schools.
  2 / 2 
Mount Carmel School on 22nd Street.

Marist, the last Catholic high school in Bayonne, closed at the end of the school year, due to a declining enrollment and an operational deficit.

At its Sept. 23 meeting, the city council introduced an ordinance that would authorize the spending of capital improvement funds to purchase the school property.

The ordinance would draw $100,000 that would act as a “down payment” toward purchasing the property, according to Public Information Officer Joe Ryan.

A public hearing on the matter is set for the next virtual council meeting on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. To attend, registration is required through the link posted on bayonnenj.org.

Years in the making

While officials have been informally negotiating to purchase Marist High School for years before the school closed, the city officially entered into negotiations in January.

The council adopted an ordinance at its Jan. 15 meeting that officially authorized negotiations to proceed with the Marist Brothers.

At the meeting, Law Director John Coffey said the city will explore entering a purchasing agreement. If acquired, the school would be re-purposed for the city’s educational needs.

The three properties that make up Marist High School are assessed at $8.9 million.

Coffey said the real value of that assessment would be in excess of $20 million after the application of the city’s equalization ratio. Equalization ratios are citywide measurements that ensures the assessment of properties are close to market value.

In March, the council moved forward with plans to purchase two properties that include St. Andrew’s elementary school and the accompanying convent.

It’s not clear how much the school would cost.

The city council has approved a redevelopment plan for the Mount Carmel School on East 22nd Street, between Broadway and Avenue E.

Mount Carmel School

Apartments on East 22nd Street

The city council adopted an ordinance approving the redevelopment plan at its Aug. 19 meeting.

The plan paves the way for residential housing units to be built on the former site, blocks away from the 22nd Street Light Rail Station. The plan permits the property only to be redeveloped into a multifamily residential building.

A total of 32 units can be built on the site. The units will be studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, prohibiting three-bedroom units.

The plan states that the existing architectural elements cannot be replaced but can be rehabilitated.

No application to redevelop the property has yet come before the planning board.

All Saints Catholic Academy is the last Catholic school in Bayonne. The school opened for in-person instruction at the start of the school year.

While Mount Carmel School will be redeveloped into apartments, it is not clear how the city intends to use the Marist and St. Andrew’s properties. Ideas include using the properties for two new middle schools.

Plans are not final as negotiations continue.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.