St. Rose Academy Future Uncertain

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St. Rose Academy in Mayfield goes on the auction block Tuesday in Lackawanna County.

The academy will lose ownership of the building that houses its classrooms and administrative offices.

Despite that and the schools massive debt, academy trustee vice-president Ralph Imbalzano said parents should plan to send their children to the same site when classes start in September.

The debt is $5.1 million.

St. Rose Academy hasn't made a mortgage payment on the building since September, 2008.

Tuesday morning the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Center that houses St. Rose will go to a sheriff's sale.

The Missouri foundation that St. Rose owes $5 million to is likely to emerge as the new property owner.

"The lender has indicated that we would be welcome to stay," Imbalzano said. "We may lose the building to the lender or some other party."

The academy started five years ago to continue Catholic-based education in Lackawanna County's Carbondale area after the diocese shuttered Sacred Heart Junior and Senior High School.

St. Rose could only attract about half the students it thought it would get, and the debt accelerated.

Will the small school be able to pay it off?

"We have a broad-ranged plan. We're confident that people will rally, and help us achieve this," Imbalzano added.

He went on to say with fall classes just seven weeks away, St. Rose's first goal will be to get a one-year lease at the Heritage Valley Center.

"We do not have a lease agreement in hand. That sort of stuff would still have to be taken care of," Imbalzano said. "We are negotiating with the lender."

Imbalzano said if the academy can get a one-year lease, it would guarantee St. Rose could hold classes at the same site through the upcoming school year.