Top Stories 2022: Peconic Community School acquiring vacant Cutchogue church property

In early September, the Peconic Community School entered a contract to purchase the 10.2-acre Sacred Heart R.C. Church campus in Cutchogue. 

PCS founders Liz Casey Searl and Kathryn Casey Quigley presented their plans for the property to the community in late November at the first meeting of the newly formed Cutchogue Civic Association.

The private school, which has more than 100 students in pre-K through 8th grade, intends to make the property its permanent home as of September 2023.

The pending sale includes the former Our Lady of Mercy Regional School, the neighboring church and rectory buildings and surrounding woodlands.

Our Lady of Mercy closed in 2018; the church had been closed since the end of 2012.

Ms. Casey Searl said in a September interview that the school building “is in pretty good shape,” adding that the grounds would be refreshed with a PCS aesthetic, which she described as “natural playscapes.”

Eventually, the former church would also be renovated, and is envisioned as a performance space. The plan also includes turning the existing garage or carriage house on the property into an art studio or atelier, which would house a community kiln.

Ms. Casey Searl also shared that they are committed to preserving the wooded area of the property and creating walking trails.

The founders hope to close on the property by February or March 2023 and plan to launch a five-year capital campaign with a fundraising goal of $5 million to $8 million. 

At a November presentation, which packed the house at Cutchogue New Suffolk Library, the community’s excitement about the project was palpable.

“Our hopes and dreams for the property are, first and foremost, to respect it and respect the character and charm of Cutchogue, while updating and enhancing the property for long-term use,” Ms. Casey Quigley said at the time. “And we want to design a property where the whole community feels welcomed and connected.”