By Carrie Ann Salvi
The Sag Harbor School Board has received an appraisal of the former Stella Maris Regional School on Division Street, which was discussed in executive session on Monday night, but not revealed to the public. Afterward, at a meeting to discuss long-term district goals, the board agreed it would hire an architect to research potential uses for the 0.74-acre property.
Just a few blocks from the Pierson Middle/High School and the Sag Harbor Elementary School, Stella Maris closed its doors in 2011 as Long Island’s oldest Catholic school when it incurred a $480,000 deficit. St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church, a parish of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, owns the former school building, which is on the market for $3.5 million.
Superintendent Katy Graves explained that the district will determine what would be required for the building to be brought in compliance with New York State specifications, and what potential uses might serve the district. Ms. Graves suggested that the 32,234-square-foot building could potentially be used as a site for shared services. The district currently serves more than 1,000 students, and receives over $500,000 a year in tuition.
Robert Evjen, a broker with Douglas Elliman, said Tuesday that there are multiple offers on the property, including one out of his office in Sag Harbor. “The types of buyers include a developer and someone who is very interested in running a school,” he said, in addition to the Sag Harbor School District’s interest. “There is a good swap of buyers looking at it,” he said. “I have spoken to the diocese several times and the decision will come back to the local board at St. Andrew’s.” Personally, Mr. Evjen said he has always taken the position that the community should benefit from the sale.
“We’ve been asked to retract a bit,” he said. “There was such a great response from the entire brokerage community, I think the parish was overwhelmed at first.”
East Hampton’s YMCA ReCenter is said to be among the institutions looking at the building, but Glenn Vickers, the YMCA’s executive director, would not confirm whether it was considering buying it. “We service the whole East End, and our membership spans to New York City, so we like to pay attention to opportunities in the community where people would like our services,” he said.
“We’re active in all communities,” Mr. Vickers said, adding the YMCA has a location in Montauk. He also said that there would be an increase in the organization’s literacy and science programs throughout the area.
The one-story building is a pre-existing, non-conforming commercial space that is zoned for offices or classrooms. Since the school closed, the building has sat vacant aside from occasional fundraisers, village police training, and two failed attempts at preschools