Workshop on Maris Purchase

Stella Maris was a Catholic school that closed in 2011 after experiencing declining enrollment and financial woes
A workshop about the possible purchase of the former Stella Maris Regional School building will be held on Wednesday. Christine Sampson

The Sag Harbor School District has announced it will hold its first public workshop pertaining to the potential purchase of the former Stella Maris Regional School on Wednesday. The workshop will follow the release of a 42-page document on Tuesday containing information and a survey to gauge taxpayers’ opinions about the possible purchase.

The decision to hold a workshop next week came about two weeks after an online petition surfaced asking the district for an immediate public meeting about Stella Maris, but Katy Graves, Sag Harbor’s superintendent, said the petition had no bearing on the decision to schedule the workshop. The focus of this first meeting will be an introduction to the material and to the survey itself.

“All this information was starting to become rather deep. The board of education recommended that we have a workshop just about taking the survey itself,” said Ms. Graves, who has requested that residents read the documentation before taking the survey.

The workshop is planned for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Sag Harbor Elementary School. It will be formally advertised in a districtwide mailing to all households that will be sent out later this week. The information on Stella Maris itself, including the real estate appraisal, potential uses of the building, and the possible effect on the budget, will be available at the John Jermain Memorial Library and both schools and will be posted on the district’s website, sagharborschools.org, on Tuesday morning.

“I really wish they gave more than one week’s notice,” James Sanford, who started the petition and who opposes the purchase of the Stella Maris property, said Tuesday. “I hope it’s an open format where residents can have an open dialogue and aren’t limited in input to asking questions. That’s what I’d really like to see.”

Stella Maris was a Catholic school that closed in 2011 after experiencing declining enrollment and financial woes. The property has been listed for sale at $3.5 million. The Sag Harbor School District has been formally exploring the purchase of the property since last summer.