Nearly two months ago the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh closed the doors of St. John Neumann Elementary School to avoid falling into debt this upcoming school year. Now, fifty former students and their parents, along with board members and supporters are trying to raise the money needed to relocate and reopen as an independent, faith-based school geared towards Arts and Science. The school will be named Lawrenceville Academy.
Board member Brian Narr believes closing the school was a mistake. He says enrollment was not an issue, nor was money. Last year, 92 children were enrolled, and 15 new families had already registered for fall. As of now, fifty kids remain, which he says is not a problem, but new students are more than welcome to register. However, the diocese says they cannot afford to run a school with fewer than 100 students.
Narr says tuition will be a substantial amount, but that it should not be a problem as they have a "terrific fundraising group."
A fundraiser will be held tonight on the top floor of the Catalyst Building in Lawrenceville, at 5:30pm. Narr says they’re asking the community for donations such as cash, desks, books—anything that would be feasible for the school. Another fundraiser will take place at the end of September.
He says everyone involved has no doubt that Lawrenceville Academy will be up and running by the start of the academic year. “Keep a close eye on us because we’re moving forward.”