Bayonne Superintendent of Schools John Niesz and the Bayonne Board of Education have announced the closing on the sale of the former St. Andrew’s property, including both the old Catholic school and convent.
The school, located on Broadway in the First Ward, closed its doors in 2008, when the city’s Catholic elementary schools were consolidated into All Saints Catholic Academy due to financial strain caused by declining enrollment. In November of last year, the Bayonne Planning Board approved the district’s plans for St. Andrew’s.
“We are very excited to announce that the Bayonne Board of Education has completed the purchase of St. Andrew’s school and convent located on 125 Broadway,” Niesz said in a letter to the community regarding the project. “We are excited for the future of our school district and we are equally excited for the possibilities this allows us for expansion.”
As the old private school will now become a public school, the old convent will also find a new use. The district is relocating its Central Office to the former convent, and the old Central Office location at Bayonne High School will be renovated into classrooms.
“Initially, there will be work done on the St. Andrew’s convent building so we can move our central offices into the convent,” Niesz said. “Our current central office location in Bayonne High School will be converted into eleven state-of-the-art preschool classrooms. High school students will learn and work with our teachers in these new classrooms.”
In addition to use by the district, the facilities at the school will also be utilized by the community.
“Very shortly, we will have the indoor gym at St. Andrew’s ready for community activities and basketball leagues,” Niesz said.
New facilities in the district
Niesz also highlighted the vocational technology school to be constructed on the BHS campus. He said the project will commence in the 2022-2023 school year.
“We remind everyone that a new school building is being built at the high school in the area of the tennis courts,” Niesz said. “The project is a partnership with Hudson County Vocational Technical School District that is of no cost to the Bayonne School District. This project will create a new, two story, state-of-the-art learning environment for our high school students.”
According to Niesz, the vocational technology school will also offer an evening program for a community of adult learners. He touted the two projects as major positive changes for the school district.
“This is truly a special time in the Bayonne School District and we thank our Board of Education and all of you for your continued support,” Niesz said.
Mayor James Davis also lauded the project in a statement following the groundbreaking.
“It’s a great day in Bayonne!” Davis said. “The Bayonne Board of Education has closed on the St. Andrew’s property, which consists of the old school and convent. This acquisition will greatly enhance the Bayonne school district’s ability to increase educational facilities for our kids and is part of my promise to improve our schools and open spaces as part of our city’s rebirth!”
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.