The convent that had been on the property at Saint Mary Magdalen Church in Brentwood since 1937 was in total disrepair. The cost to repair it, including — asbestos removal, lead paint removal, complete sewer replacement, complete slate roof replacement, complete electrical replacement, brittle water lines, broken HVAC systems, and mold in the second floor of the convent ceiling — would have been enormous.
To repair all of that with no specific purpose was deemed inconceivable. Again, with no specific purpose and such repair costs, the three parish boards and the parish contractors made the decision to tear down the convent and replace it with a much needed green space.
A new Saint Mary Magdalen Dominican Garden/Park will be built on the location.
The green space will provide a safe recess area for the Saint Mary Magdalen school children and an outdoor classroom for Saint Mary Magdalen School. It will also be a weekend gathering place for parishioners, a place to sit during the Parish Picnic, Food Truck Night, Mass in the Grass and other parish events.
The total cost for this project is $400,000. Two hundred thousand dollars has been raised and the parish is working to secure the additional $200,000. Given that Brentwood Bound will do much to beautify the Manchester Road area of Brentwood, this seemed like the ideal time to create this beautiful green space.
Phase 1 of the project has been completed, the demolition of the convent. Phase 2 and 3 are next, which is to fill the hole with dirt and let the area settle and build a Sacristy onto the Chapel. We will take this project in phases and as money comes in we will continue to complete the Dominican Garden.