Monday, March 15, 2010

Attempt To Save Cardinal Gibbons Denied - Babe Ruth's Old School

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Attempt To Save Cardinal Gibbons Denied

Archdiocese, Alumni Agree Decision To Close Is Final

POSTED: 5:55 pm EDT March 15, 2010
UPDATED: 7:29 pm EDT March 15, 2010
The fight to keep Cardinal Gibbons School from closing is officially over.A meeting hosted by Bishop Denis Madden was held on Monday at archdiocese headquarters, where the archdiocese said after 20 years of subsidizing the school to the tune of $4 million, the model just isn't working.Both sides said the decision is final and that the school will close."It feels like a marriage gone bad. You have two partners in a relationship, and one of them just wants out," said Gibbons alum Wayne McDowell.He said the bishop shot down a plan presented by a group of alumni and staffers to turn Gibbons into an independent Catholic high school at minimal financial risk to the archdiocese.Madden still said no."They said the door was going to be open to suggestions and things that we could do to save this school. But they said it's off the table -- nothing you can do or say can make this work," McDowell said.
"We think it's better to put them in schools that are viable and that can be viable."
- Archdiocese Spokesman Sean Caine
"They've abandoned what their mission is -- to offer and provide affordable Catholic education to young men," said alum Bruz Klima."I have a strange feeling that one day I'm going to drive by and there will be a Wal-Mart on the property. They're only looking at dollar signs," speculated parent Tom Kyle.Schools spokesman Sean Caine denied that the archdiocese is trying to sell the property, but said the economy has taken its toll. He said the parochial system was loosing about 500 students a year before the recession and, in the last two years, they lost about 1,200 a year.Caine said there's not enough money to keep the school open and give students the education they deserve."Before the economic downturn, we had a handful of schools that we needed to support. That number has tripled, so it forces us to make a decision on how we spend resources, and we think it's better to put them in schools that are viable and that can be viable," he said.Caine also shot down rumors that the archdiocese lost money in Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme.Students and parents will return to Gibbons Monday night to check out transfer options.

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