Parents fight closure of East End Catholic high school

Posted: Updated:

Upset parents and students of a Catholic high school on the East End are now fighting to save their school from closing.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre sent out a YouTube message on Monday with Bishop John Barres announcing that Bishop McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead would be closing.

In a statement, the diocese said, “The sad truth is that it has become increasingly unfeasible to maintain these schools financially."

Katie Devaney, a junior at the high school, said she was “completely devastated” by the decision.

“I just wanted to graduate with all my friends and continue the senior traditions. It is kind of hard for that to happen now,” said Devaney.

Parents called the decision to close the high school and consolidate two East End Catholic elementary schools abrupt and hasty. Donna Stubbo, a parent with several children in the school, said the announcement came without any warning.

"We never had a warning, we never had a chance to save our school,” said Stubbo. “We are devastated and we are not going to go down without a fight.”

Adding insult to injury, parents said they have spent the entire year raising money for the school. Just last Sunday, they held a fundraiser to purchase a new bus for the school.

Parents told News 12 that they suspect the diocese may be selling the property to Northwell's Peconic Bay Medical Center, which is right next door. A Northwell spokesperson said they have no information regarding a sale or purchase. The diocese said the property is not for sale at this time.

The nearest option for Riverhead students will be St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip, which is about 40 miles away.

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