School Restoration Update

January 13, 2018

On January 11, 2018 our St. Philip school building experienced a fire. The damage was contained to the Kaleidoscope area which connects the main school corridor to the Molloy Center and to Marion Hall. The fire damaged several classrooms and the roof. The entire facility has experienced smoke and soot damage and needs to be professionally cleaned.

Fire damage like ours requires that we follow government guidelines and laws involving clean-up, new construction, and restoration. Our reopen date will not be the decision of the parish administration but is subject to governmental timelines and approvals.

Our Diocese of Paterson, the insurance companies, and local and state government officials are working in conjunction for the most expedient way to have us operational as soon as possible.

There are two areas of concerns that need to be addressed:
1. Our School and the education of our children
2. Our Church and organizations

   1. Concerning Saint Philip the Apostle Preparatory School. Our faculty gathered together and collaborated with the Catholic School Office staff to develop a technological education plan for home use during this week of January 15, 2018 because there will be no classes in the school building. There are several options under study for the most immediate return to education in a classroom setting. As soon as an official and an approved plan is accepted, parents will be notified immediately. This applies to Religious Education classes as well.

   2. Our school building, the Molloy Center, the auditorium, the gym, and Marion Hall have all been compromised by the fire due to smoke damage. Therefore, no one may enter these buildings according to law. In other words, the meeting of parish organizations, parish groups, and sports teams will not be able take place on the parish property until further notice. This also means that the school entrance lobby cannot be used as a access route from the St. Philip Drive parking lot.

   Know this, in our 75 year history and as we celebrate this Jubilee Year, these challenges are a perfect opportunity for us to demonstrate our faith in action as we continue to do Christ’s Work with hope and love.

Rev. Joseph J. Garbarino, Pastor