La Salle Academy purchases its own land for borrowing equity

LA SALLE ACADEMY has purchased the nearly 30 acres that the school sits upon for $6.75 million to increase the organization's assets and equity as a preparation for intended expansion. / COURTESY LA SALLE ACADEMY
LA SALLE ACADEMY has purchased the nearly 30 acres that the school sits upon for $6.75 million to increase the organization's assets and equity as a preparation for intended expansion. / COURTESY LA SALLE ACADEMY

PROVIDENCE – Approximately 29.6 acres that comprise La Salle Academy were sold in October for $6.75 million. The sellers? La Salle Academy. The purchasers? Well, La Salle Academy.

School president Brother Thomas Gerrow told PBN Tuesday that La Salle Academy is an independent Catholic School. Gerrow said that school had been renting its land from the Providence Roman Catholic Diocese since it incorporated as a nonprofit with the state in 1989. The entity that retained the land was a nonprofit controlled by the church under the name La Salle Academy. The incorporated name of the nonprofit that the school launched when going independent is called St. John Baptist De La Salle Institute. This entity paid the diocese the money for the land, placing the deeded rights under the control of the La Salle Academy board of trustees.

Gerrow noted that the school was at capacity and is looking to build more buildings to meet its growing needs. The purchase of the land from the diocese adds to its buildable footprint as well as increased its assets and equity for borrowing purposes.

Also filed in October, minutes before the above La Salle transfer, was the transfer of the property at 449 Mount Pleasant Ave., a 0.15-acre a vacant lot across the street from Mount Pleasant High School and abutting the La Salle Academy land, from the Seminary of Our Lady of Providence to the Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence.

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Concurrently, a nonprofit entity called the St. Vincent de Paul Infant Asylum transferred more than 7.5 acres at 525 Mount Pleasant St. and a 0.115-acre lot at 612 Mount Pleasant St. to the Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence for no charge. All of this land also abuts the La Salle Academy property.

Gerrow said that those land transfers were not part of the school’s land purchase.

La Salle Academy, while independent, is under the direction of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. The school was founded in 1871, originally located at La Salle Square in Downtown Providence, according to Gerrow. The school has several notable graduates in governmental positions.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. Email him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.

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