BAYONNE, NJ - The city will go enter negotiations for the possible purchase of St. Andrew's School for possible use as a public school, officials have said. The announcement comes at a time when negotiations are also ongoing for the possible purchase of Marist High School.
City Law Director Jay Coffey said the school district is in need of more classroom space and these properties could provide that more economically than building new schools – which, according to some estimates, could cost up to $100 million.
“These are older buildings we’re looking at,” Coffey said. “We need to do due diligence to make sure we determine what their true value is.”
The city can only purchase the properties at market rate, the value before any upgrades, he said. Coffey suggested that if the purchase of both Marist and St. Andrew's prove feasible the city would likely seek one large bond to cover the cost.
An increasing public school population has put pressure on the District to find new space, an issue that dominated the 2019 elections for board of education when suggestions of building two middle schools, one for each end of the city, were brought forward.
The St. Andrew's purchase would also include the acquisition of the adjacent convent.
The newer building, built in 1962, is three stories and includes classrooms, a pantry room, storage rooms, a chapel, a kitchen with dining room, computer rooms, a music room, and a community room.
The second building, built in 1950, is two stories and includes a full finished basement containing a 'Train Club' room, video room, rental room, four bathrooms, a cafeteria with a full kitchen, a meeting room, a stage, and three storage rooms. The first floor includes a 'Youth Center', three half bathrooms, two offices, a nurse's office with a half bathroom, and eight classrooms.
The second floor consists of eight classrooms, and two girls’ and boys’ bathrooms.
The school was closed about ten years ago when elementary schools were consolidated.
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