ST. LOUIS – An agreement has been made to keep the doors open for St. Mary’s Catholic School in Dutchtown.
In September, the archdiocese stated that St. Mary’s and Rosati-Kain high schools would be closed as part of a reduction strategy. Members of the St. Mary’s community, on the other hand, committed to keep the school open.
The school will not only stay open, but rebrand its name as St. Mary’s Southside Catholic High School. Additionally, a catholic religious order known as The Marianists will become St. Mary’s sponsor.
The archdiocese requires a spiritual tie in order for a school to be considered a Catholic school. The Marianists give St. Mary’s a similar sponsorship to ones that Vianney and Chamindae high schools in St. Louis County operate behind.
According to an archdiocese statement, “St. Mary’s has accepted the terms of a three-year lease from the archdiocese.” In a press conference Thursday, the school confirmed it would remain at the same location on Grand Boulevard for several more years through the lease.
“This is the first hurdle in a long journey, but we are confident in what the future holds,” said Mike England, president of St. Mary’s High School.
According to Thursday’s news conference, student applications for St. Mary’s are now at a four-year high and a $10 million fundraising campaign is also underway to support the instutution.
For decades, this school has been a landmark in the Dutchtown neighborhood. According to St. Mary’s Facebook page, the school’s management and board have devised a realistic route for the historic and iconic school’s long-term existence.
Mike England, the school’s president, told the Post that the school had raised more than $3 million for future operations. News of the school staying open was all the conversation at last night’s St. Mary’s basketball game.
FOX 2 spoke with parents and the school’s assistant athletic director about the situation here and what they were hoping to hear this morning.
Michelle Neals, St. Mary’s Parent: “That they’ll be staying open long term, and it won’t just be for one year; they’ll be staying open forever, and that they have a solid plan to achieve that, and it’s going to take some work from us as parents because we have to support the vision as well.”
Bryan Turner, assistant athletic director: “It’s a bit scary. “We have faculty that kind of went through the transition of other Catholic schools closing throughout the year, and you’ve got some teachers that actually left two different schools and have been here at St. Mary’s.”
The St. Louis Archdiocese released a statement saying they are pleased with the developments surrounding St. Mary’s High School.