A representative of St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights has confirmed to BKLYNER that the college is not merging with St. Francis Xavier School in Park Slope as previously reported.
Many Park Slope residents were saddened to see the removal of the Dixon’s Bike Shop mural which had adorned a wall (located on Union Street between 6th & 7th Avenues) owned by St. Francis Xavier School for 40 years.
David Dixon, the Manager of Dixon’s Bike Shop, told BKLYNER that the colorful mural was painted white at the end of May to make way for an advertisement announcing the merger of St. Francis College with St. Francis Xavier School. A sign on the shop’s door (pictured above) asking neighbors to sign a petition to save the original mural also notes this alleged merger.
Last Friday, June 9, St. Francis College tweeted the below message requesting that this story be clarified and stating that the college is not connected to St. Francis Xavier and has no involvement in the mural’s removal.
Please correct your story. @sfcny is neither merging with St. Francis Xavier nor had anything to do with the mural. Thank you.
— St. Francis College (@SFCNY) June 12, 2017
Carolyn Erstad, a spokesperson for St. Francis Xavier, was not able to confirm the merger between the two schools last week but insisted that the new artwork would not be an advertisement announcing the Park Slope school’s merger with St. Francis College.
While Erstad did not have any details regarding the new mural nor when it will be painted, she said, “The school does intend to repaint the wall and create a new mural that will enrich the community. They plan to have the students get involved in the project.”
She added that locals were concerned about the poor condition of the wall—some of the bricks were loose and the paint was peeling. “School officials felt they were doing the responsible thing, in terms of public safety, by removing the paint and repairing the structure,” she said. “They are sorry to anyone in the community who is disappointed.”
Erstad also provided BKLYNER with photos illustrating the state of the wall before St. Francis Xavier made repairs and painted over the mural.
When asked last Friday where the Dixon family heard the rumor about St. Francis Xavier merging with St. Francis College, David Dixon couldn’t recall, but said he thinks they might have heard about it from St. Francis Xavier’s former principal.
According to Erstad, the current principal of St. Francis Xavier emailed Dixon’s Bike Shop on May 20 to let them know that the wall had to be repaired and the mural replaced. She says the shop did not respond to the message.