By Stephen Stirling
Just two months after St. Michael’s school was on the Brooklyn Catholic Diocese’s chopping block, Monsignor Edward Netterer led a blessing of its newly revamped science lab, knowing students would return next September to use it.
Though initially slated to close and merge with nearby St. Mary’s school, St. Michael’s was granted a reprieve by the Brooklyn Diocese last month. The school recently completed a $7,500 renovation of its science lab and electrical system, a project that has greatly expanded the capabilities to teach science and has enabled several classrooms within the school to be connected to the Internet.
“You constantly try to improve the school,” Netterer said. “So we were relieved after doing all this work that we can open in September for the children to make use of it.”
The Flushing parochial school and St. Anthony of Padua School in South Ozone Park were both initially targeted for closure by the diocese as part of a school reorganization plan outlined by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio Friday that will see five Queens Catholic schools shutter their doors in June.
St. Michael’s, a Kâˆ’8 school at 136âˆ’58 41 Ave., was the only Queens school on the shutdown list that will open its doors next year under the diocese’s umbrella.
“Throughout this process we were offered support from St. Michael’s Parish and parish staff, the parents, alumni and the Flushing community,” said St. Michael’s School Principal Maureen Rogone. “As Monsignor Netterer and I recognize the responsibilities and challenges that lie ahead, we are confident that St. Michael’s School will continue to provide a quality Catholic education to the Flushing community.”
During the blessing of the science lab, Netterer said just as the Internet provides connections between people, the connections between the students and teachers at St. Michael’s are important and worth preserving.
“We are celebrating together in that way that St. Michaels continues and will continue to offer opportunities for you young children going forward,” he said.
The renovations were made possible through a $7,000 grant from the Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation and science teacher Norman Leo said it will provide new opportunities for students in the classroom.
“We will now be able to help students get a more handsâˆ’on experience,” he said.
Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by eâˆ’mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718âˆ’229âˆ’0300, Ext. 138.