Release Date: October 10, 2023
Closure of St. Anthony of Padua School in Dayton
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School, operated by St. Anthony of Padua Parish in East Dayton, will close following the completion of the 2023-2024 school year.
The pastor, parish council and parish finance committee of St. Anthony of Padua Parish — in consultation with the Catholic Schools Office of the archdiocese — recommended closure of St. Anthony Catholic School, after the completion of the current school year. In accordance with archdiocesan procedures, the recommendation for closure was submitted to, and accepted by, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr.
Over the past several years, the ceiling structure for the underground boiler room, independent of the 108-year-old school building, has deteriorated to the point of being structurally unsound. The weight from the parking lot above has taken a toll. Steps were taken to temporarily shore up the room. Despite the work already done the structural integrity of the underground boiler room remained a major concern. Last year in an effort to explore a permanent solution parish and school leaders hired a professional engineering firm to conduct a Facility Conditions Assessment. The assessment included inspection of the entire working of the mechanical system and associated costs of repair.
The assessment concluded that most of the school building’s mechanical systems are at the end of their functional life and therefore must be repaired, upgraded or replaced. The boiler room structure needs permanent repair. If all the identified needs were addressed, the total cost would be close to $13 million.
“Maintenance of a school building is always a priority, however, the dollars needed for repairs and upgrades can be limited. St. Anthony School has reached a point where maintenance, especially deferred maintenance, has become a serious concern,” said Fr. Satish Joseph, Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, part of the NE 7 Family of Parishes. “Such decisions are both unwanted and heartbreaking. Unless we can offer excellent education in a building that safely meets the needs of students and staff, we are not fulfilling our responsibility as a parish community.”
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School was founded in 1915, two years after the establishment of St. Anthony of Padua Parish. The school’s present enrollment is 156 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school employs 14 paid teachers and staff.
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School families, staff, and parishioners have recently been made aware of this decision. For the 2023-2024 school year the three other Catholic schools within the NE 7 Family of Parishes, and surrounding Catholic schools, will be asked to give priority acceptance to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School students.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 51st largest Catholic diocese in the country, with around 435,000 Catholics, and has the fifth largest Catholic school system in terms of enrollment with nearly 40,000 students. The 19-county territory includes 208 canonical parishes organized into 57 Families of Parishes, and 110 Catholic primary and secondary schools.
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