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Photos by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
Photos by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
Divine Wisdom's Bayside campus

Due to declining enrollment and changing demographics, Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy is consolidating its Bayside and Douglaston campuses later this year.

Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy will officially shutter the Bayside campus (formerly St. Robert Bellarmine School), located at 56-10 214th St., on June 30, according to Diocese of Brooklyn spokesperson Carolyn Erstad. The academy will continue to operate out of its Douglaston school.

Bayside students are invited to continue their education at the Douglaston campus (which was once St. Anastasia School) during the 2018-19 school year. Staff from both campuses will merge together in Douglaston, as well.

Erstad told QNS the merger was spurred on by declining enrollment at both campuses and Bayside’s changing demographics. Total enrollment at Divine Wisdom has decreased by 10 percent in the last year. This declining enrollment has led to a projected financial deficit of $325,000 for the 2017-2018 school year, the spokesperson noted.

No capital improvements at the Douglaston campus are necessary to accommodate the larger student population. This is largely due to a project completed at the site this past summer, which added improvements including a state-of-the-art STEM lab, a music conservatory and an early childhood development center. The project was funded by school benefactors.

Douglaston campus

Douglaston campus

Since improvements were completed, students at the Bayside campus have been traveling between campuses to use the Douglaston STEM lab on a weekly basis, Erstad noted. In the new school year, former Bayside students will benefit from having the lab and other new resources at their immediate disposal.

The Bayside and Douglaston campuses are about two miles apart. The merger is not expected to impose significant transportation inconveniences for enrolled families.

The future of the Bayside building is still up in the air, according to Erstad.

“There is no immediate plan to rent the Bayside building,” she said. “This could change in the future.”

Registration and open houses for the next school year will open during Catholic Schools Week, beginning Jan. 28. Learn more on the Divine Wisdom website.

Divine Wisdom was established in September 2009 to serve the parishes of St. Anastasia, Saint Robert Bellarmine, American Martyrs and Saint Paul Chong Ha-Sang. It originally operated out of the former St. Anastasia School, but expanded to the former St. Robert Bellarmine campus in Bayside in 2013.

The Bayside campus of Divine Wisdom is the second Catholic school in Queens marked for closure this year. Last week, the diocese announced that Glendale’s St. Pancras School, which has operated for nearly 110 years, will close its doors forever at the end of the current school year.

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