After intense and prolonged protest from its neighbors the Paterson Charter School for Arts and Science is moving to the former Paterson Catholic school building on 11th Avenue, announced the school last week.
Students of the charter are expected to report to the former Paterson Catholic location for the upcoming school year, said Tim White, spokesperson for the school.
“The new building will hold our kindergarten-6th grade students,” read an announcement issued by the school. “The new building is the former Paterson Catholic Campus and which is located at 764 11th Avenue in Paterson.”
The site is used by another city charter school, the Paterson Charter School For Science & Technology. That school holds its 7-12 grade classes with roughly 483 students at the location.
The catholic school which utilized the building had an enrollment of 303 students prior to its closure, according to records. White did not say whether the campus had room enough to hold 330 of the school’s students.
The school faced stiff resistance from adjacent Linden Road residents, who complained the school was reducing their quality of life in the area.
Robert and Hattie Kersey, couple who own a home across the street from the school’s back entrance, mobilized neighborhood residents into resisting the school.
The Kerseys complained the school caused traffic congestion in the area sometimes preventing ambulances from entering the narrow one-way. Other times, parents dropping off students at the school parked their vehicles in front of driveways blocking in residents.
The Kerseys and a small band of neighbors took the matter to the board of adjustment contesting the school’s certificate of occupancy was not issued through a proper procedure. Indeed, the board of adjustment found a continued certificate of occupancy at the site which once housed a public school was faultily issued by a zoning officer.
The board nullified the certificate because after the building was used for a school, its owner took out certificates to run a museum, an adult day care center, and a catering service out of the location.
The board allowed the school to operate until the end of June, but the school could not return to the site in September for another school year. White few weeks ago said the school was in process of appealing to the board, but that seems unlikely as the school has found an alternative location.
It remains unclear whether the school will continue the fight with a fresh appeal.