Letter to Parishioners regarding our School building

Originnally printed in our bulletin on September 15, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

I’m sure you have noticed that scaffolding has been set up at the school building along Myrtle Avenue. This gives me the opportunity to bring you up to date on the plans for our school building. I have not been able to give details up to this point because things were moving at a very slow pace. Even though the NYC Department of Education (DOE) has expressed interested in leasing the building, no lease has yet been formally created. However, I have been assured that the DOE will move in that direction very soon.

As the owner and landlord, the parish is responsible for the exterior repairs of the building. The DOE has their own construction authority that has examined the condition of the school and has made recommendations of certain repairs that must be made in order for them to finally conclude the lease. Some of the recommended repairs were already known to us and we knew that we’d have to take care of them eventually. Now that there will be rental income from the lease, we are in a position to borrow the needed funds to make the repairs.

Here is what is planned for the immediate coming weeks:
• Replace the entire roof of the school building
• Replace the doors at the top of the stairways that lead to the roof
• Complete the replacement of the parapet that was begun two summers ago
• Repair bricks where they are chipped or broken

     One further matter that we must understand is that when the Public School leases a Catholic building, there can be no exterior religious imagery. Therefore, we must remove the statue of the Sacred Heart from above the entrance to the building. I know this have been the very symbol of St. Pancras School since it was built. But I have no intention of losing this beautiful statue from our parish property. You will soon see the statue relocated to a prominent spot on the front lawn of the rectory. In this way, along with our Grotto and Outdoor Stations of the Cross, parishioners will be able to pray to our Lord as we manifest our faith and devotion.

If anyone has any questions about the plans as we move forward, please ask me personally, rather than wonder or believe false rumors. Keep in mind that with the added income from the school rental, we will be able to make the necessary repairs and restoration of our church.

Fr. Hughes