The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg appears to have found a buyer for the former Lebanon Catholic School property at 1400 Chestnut Street.  

The school closed its doors last spring due to declining enrollment and financial problems. A Catholic school in one form or another had existed in Lebanon County for 161 years.

In a phone call on Feb. 10, Jim Koury of RSR Realtors in Lemoyne confirmed that a sales contract between the Diocese and a buyer, whom he would not identify, has been signed.

Koury also declined to state the sale price, but the 13.9 acre property in the City of Lebanon had originally been listed for sale at 2.45 million dollars.

According to Koury, the buyer is doing its “due diligence” and, barring any problems, the sale could be finalized this summer.  

“Due diligence” in real estate sales generally involves a search for judgments, liens, boundary issues, and other problems that could prevent a buyer from getting undisputed ownership of a property.

When asked to confirm rumors that the buyer intends to put a residential development on the property, such as apartments or townhouses, Koury would only say “you could end up seeing some residences or apartments on it.”

The property is zoned “residential high density,” which would allow apartments, and Koury added that the buyer “think[s] zoning is good the way it is.”

Two other interested parties surfaced after the school closed at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

The Lebanon School District had shown some interest in finding additional space for its increasing enrollment, but it appears to have abandoned the idea.

A group of Catholic parents, led by Tom and Joya Morrissey, had also expressed interest in continuing Catholic education at the site. However, Joya Morrissey told LebTown on Feb. 9 that the prospects are dim.

“There’s still a group trying to figure out different options,” she said. “We’ll always be involved in wanting to do something with Catholic education in Lebanon County, but I would think not [at the Lebanon Catholic property] at this point.”

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Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...