Our Lady of Mercy School in Madison is looking for a new location for after learning the lease for its home of more than 60 years on Neck Road will not be extended beyond the 2017 to 2018 school year.
Father Stephen Sledesky is the pastor at St. George Church in Guilford, one of the two parishes responsible for running Our Lady of Mercy since 2005.
“We’ve worked hard to make it a beautiful place with all of the things that are needed for a first rate education in the 21st century,” Fr. Sledesky said, “but the school is more than a building.”
The Sisters of Mercy, which started the school in 1954 and owns the property, decided to not renew the building’s lease after June 30, 2018.
“We’re exploring all the options for keeping Catholic education available to these students,” Sledesky said.
A committee made up of parents, pastors and parish members is now tasked with searching for a new location to house the school. Sledesky said they will consider leasing or buying a new building or moving into existing church properties.
"This is an opportunity to chart the course of our school, one that best serves our OLM family now and in the years to come," school officials said in a letter to the school community.
Last month, the Archdiocese of Hartford announced it is shutting down St. Gabriel School in Milford and St. Vincent de Paul School in East Haven in part because of declining enrollments.
With about 180 students from pre-K through 8th grade, Sledesky said enrollment has not been a problem at Our Lady of Mercy.
“It’s been rather robust,” he said. “In fact, we’re already conducting our registrations for the next school year.”