STAMFORD, Conn. – Stamford is entering into discussions with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery to buy a 10.8-acre parcel of land located at 200 Strawberry Hill Ave. currently occupied by the Stanwich School, Mayor David Martin announced.
The property is the former site of Sacred Heart Academy, which closed in 2006. The campus includes several buildings and in 2012 was assessed for $14.7 million.
If purchased by Stamford, the building and site would be used as a public school to ease overcrowding, Martin said.
The campus also includes the C.J. Starr Barn and Carriage House, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. In the application submitted by the Sisters to the National Park Service, they said the structure is “the sole remaining structure of its kind in the city” and that it “provides the residents of Stamford with a link to a previous era.”
Whether the property is used for a new school or for another public use, it could be "a historic purchase," Martin said.
“Opportunities like this come around once in a generation," he said in a statement. "The property is a chance to preserve part of Stamford’s history and character. It will protect open space in an area that has become highly developed over the years. This is truly a unique and strategic opportunity.”
The Board of Education informed Martin of the potential opportunity shortly after he was elected mayor. Martin and the school board are exploring the opportunity.
Martin recently briefed members of the Board of Finance, the Board of Representatives Fiscal Committee, the District 11 members of the Board of Representatives, and the Chairman of the Planning Board on the status of the property.
Although he intends to use the property for a school, more information and input from our elected boards and the public would be required, Martin said. The administration expects that renovation and expansion would be necessary and would require additional capital investment.
“I am committed to ensuring that all children have access to a quality public education and bringing a new school to the Strawberry Hill location is an attractive option," Martin added in the statement. "More information and discussion is required before we can say with certainty that the city should invest in a new school and I look forward to participating in that discussion."