West Islip Catholic school Our Lady of Lourdes to close

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WEST ISLIP -

The Diocese of Rockville Centre is closing the Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School in West Islip.

The Catholic school will cease operations for the 2018-2019 school year and beyond.

"It was such a wonderful school," says Maria Lucie, who -- like her daughters, nieces and nephews -- attended the school at one point. "I met some of my best friends there. The families there were lifetime friends."

But the diocese says enrollment dropped from 206 students last year to less than 50.

"A current enrollment of 47 students makes the goal of providing a quality education to nurture and develop students academically, emotionally and spiritually unsustainable," the diocese said in a statement.

It says it will send information to parents about other local Catholic schools.

Another Catholic school, the Bishop McGann Mercy High School in Riverhead, closed earlier this year. Two more Catholic elementary schools on the East End are set to merge into a single facility next year, too.

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