Archdiocese announces school closings

A commission’s study of the fates of schools within the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia didn’t spare schools located within the Northeast Times or the Star newspapers’ coverage areas.

St. Hubert High School for Girls, a venerable institution in Holmesburg since 1941, will close forever in June, and seven northeast elementary schools will either close or be consolidated with others as part of the recommendations. Six elementary schools in the Star coverage area will also undergo changes.

St. Hubert, at 7320 Torresdale Ave., is one of four high schools pegged for closure. The others are the city’s West Catholic High School, Conwell Egan High School in Fairless Hills, and Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast in Drexel Hill.

During a Friday afternoon news conference to detail the plans, officials cited declining enrollments, changing demographics and the negative impact of higher tuitions as reasons for the significant cuts to preserve the archdiocesan system of education.

Elementary schools in the areas covered by the Northeast Times and Star newspapers that figure in the changes are:

• St. William School, 6238 Rising Sun Ave., which will be merged with St. Cecilia School at 525 Rhawn St. Students will attend St. Cecilia in Fox Chase.

• St. Timothy School, 3033 Levick St., will be consolidated with the Pope John Paul II Regional School in Bridesburg. Students will attend St. Timothy.

• Our Lady of Consolation School, 4816 Princeton Ave. in Tacony, will merge with St. Matthew School, 3000 Cottman Ave. Students will attend St. Matthew.

• Our Lady of Ransom, 6740 Roosevelt Blvd. in Mayfair, will merge with Resurrection of Our Lord School, 2000 Shelmire Ave. in Rhawnhurst. Students will attend Resurrection.

• St. George Elementary School at 2700 E. Venango Street in Port Richmond will merge with Our Lady of Port Richmond, 3233 E. Thompson Street. Students will attend Our Lady of Port Richmond.

• St. Laurentius School at 1612 E. Berks Street, in Fishtown, will merge with St. Peter the Apostle School, at 1009 N. 5th Street in Kensington. Students will attend St. Peter.

• Visitation BVM at 300 E. Lehigh Avenue, in Kensington, will merge with St. Malachy, at 1429 N. 11th Street, in Kensington. Students will attend Visitation BVM.

During Friday’s news conference, officials said the archdiocesan school system has 68,000 students — the same number that existed in 1911 and far below a high of 250,000 students in the early 1960s.

The enrollment drop has been compounded by families having fewer children, as well as families transferring youngsters out of archdiocesan schools because of tuition increases.

Read next week’s Northeast Times and Star newspapers for complete coverage of the planned closures, the impact, and reactions from the school communities. ••