The Peconic Bay Medical Center Foundation has purchased the 24-acre site of the former McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School from the Diocese of Rockville Centre for $14 million. 

The high school property, directly behind Peconic Bay Medical Center, has been vacant since the school closed in June 2018, as part of a consolidation of Catholic schools throughout Long Island.

The Riverhead Central School District had been eyeing the property for its own expansion, but nixed that idea last fall due to the high cost of renovating it to fit public school needs.

Peconic Bay Medical Center had signed a lease in mid-March to use the high school property, if needed, for overflow capacity during the coronavirus surge.

“In the spirit of ongoing community benefit and investment, the Peconic Bay Medical Center Foundation is pleased to have reached an agreement with the Diocese of Rockville Centre for the purchase of the former Bishop McGann-Mercy High School property,” said Andrew Mitchell, Peconic Bay Medical Center Foundation president and CEO, in the hospital’s May 4 announcement of the acquisition. “The foundation looks forward to working with the medical center and the Town of Riverhead to develop future plans recognizing the growing and diverse health care needs of the East End”

Peconic Bay Medical Center joined the Northwell Health network of regional hospitals in 2016, and has since been expanding clinical programs and services, including the recent opening of the Corey Critical Care Pavilion and Kanas Regional Heart Center.

PBMC’s executives say this underscores the hospital’s ongoing need for additional space as it continues to evolve into a regional medical center.

“Since 1956 this property has been devoted to education and service to the community,” said Emilie Roy Corey, chair of the PBMC Foundation, of the school property. “We are happy to have concluded our negotiations with the Diocese of Rockville Centre so that we may proceed in planning for the continuation of service to the community with much needed expanded health care services.”

The school was founded by the Sisters of Mercy of Brooklyn in 1956.

“Knowing that this property, which has been dormant since the school closed, will in the future provide much-needed healthcare for the community, will be a great tribute to Saint Catherine McCauley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy,” said Sean P. Dolan, director of communications for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which operated the school from 2003 until it closed.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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