8000 to fund its campaign to rebuild high school in Springfield

8000 to fund its campaign to rebuild high school in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD As the diocese continues to review options regarding the future of tornado damaged Cathedral High School, a grassroots group that supports rebuilding the school on Surrey Road has raised more than $8,000 to fund its ongoing campaign to save the school.

More than 400 people attended the $20 a ticket fundraising event on Thursday night at the Cedars Social Hall at St. Anthony’s Maronite Church on Island Pond Road.

Earlier on Thursday, officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield told members of The Republican’s Editorial Board and Masslive that Bishop Mitchell Rozanski is expected to make a decision on the fate of the school next month. The bishop’s decision will come after considering input from a cross section of stakeholders including faculty, parents and neighborhood residents, the officials said.

The diocesan officials said there is no preconceived plan about the fate of the high school, noting that no consensus has been reached.

While official stakeholders involved in the diocesan’s review process do not include leaders of the Committee for Cathedral Action, the diocese said some of the stakeholders reflect the views and concerns of the committee.

The diocese said the bishop is doing “due diligence” before he announces a decision on the fate of the school.wholesale nfl jerseys

In the meantime, officials said Rozanski will speak specifically about the challenges regarding Cathedral High School on diocesan television programs on Saturday evening, Jan. on the “Chalice of Salvation” program.

The Committee for Cathedral Action’s fundraising event, featuring members of the Dan King Singers, was organized to “keep the momentum” going since the group launched its “Save Cathedral” campaign during a Nov. 20 a rally, also held at St. Anthony’s.

Al DiLascia, chairman of the Committee for Cathedral Action, said the group will use the donations to fund ongoing and new marketing strategies for the ” Save Cathedral Campaign” in order to convince the Diocese to build a new Cathedral High School.

Beginning with the November rally, the group has stepped up its public awareness campaign with posters, bumper stickers and lawn signs while soliciting support from people and groups across the region.

On Thursday night, for example, members of the Central High School and the Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy wore purple and white jerseys reading “Save Cathedral’ during warm ups before playing in the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.

Mayor Domenic J. Rep. Richard E. Neal, who was instrumental in winning a $39 million grant from FEMA to rebuild Cathedral, spoke passionately in favor of the rebuilding of the school during a Dec. 16 rally on the steps of Springfield City Hall.

DiLascia said in a prepared statement: “The truth is, and what has been demonstrated over the last few months, is that there exists an overwhelming consensus and determination in the diocese to build.”

The cost of attending Cathedral is a major concern for the diocese, especially when the dioceses is facing competition from five charter schools in Springfield and a “school of choice” program that allows city students to apply for slots in suburban schools where there is no tuition.

Tuition at Cathedral ranges from $8,600 to $9,300 a year. Fifty seven percent of the students receive tuition assistance.

Cathedral has raised about $3.3 million in donations and pledges in its campaign to establish a $10 million tuition endowment fund to help students and parents attend the school.

Cathedral was built for 3,000 students, but enrollment was dwindling before the tornado and now stands at about 200, the diocese said.

If the dioceses proceeds with rebuilding the school, LaBroad estimates it the total cost would be about $45 million for a structure that would house between 450 and 500 students.

Students at Cathedral High School and St. Michael’s Academy, both severely damaged by the June 1, 2011 tornado, were relocated to the former Memorial Elementary School in Wilbraham and at Holy Cross campus on Eddywood Street, respectively.


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