Most Precious Blood in Astoria to Close School

Faced with declining enrollment and costly structural repairs, Most Precious Blood School will close at the end of the 2014-15 academic year.

“Most Precious Blood School has been the heart of the parish since 1957,” said Father William Krlis, pastor. “The simple fact is, the building is in need of costly structural repair. Enrollment has dropped precipitously over the past five years. From Kindergarten through Eighth Grade, enrollment is 191 students, which has dropped 20 students since last year alone.”

Currently, structural repairs are needed in Most Precious Blood School, and also in Most Precious Blood Church. Repairs are estimated at $5.5 million, inclusive of both the school and the church buildings. “We do not have the funds to complete this work,” said Father Krlis.

In the school building, this includes an estimated $2.55 million in necessary repairs. This work cannot be done while the school building is occupied on a full-time basis.

In the church building, there is an estimated $3 million in necessary repairs. Within the last six months, the south wall of the church building began to separate and was shored up until further repairs could be made.

“These essential building repairs, combined with declining enrollment, will not allow us to continue,” said Father Krlis. “This decision was not made easily. After much dialogue with all relevant parties, including officials from the Diocese of Brooklyn and local Catholic schools, as well as consulting with engineering firms regarding the state of these necessary repairs, I presented these facts to the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn. With his support, I made this painful decision in the best interest of the parish community.”

Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn, said that Catholic schools in neighboring parishes will have seats to accommodate students, and information on Open Houses will be made available in the coming days.