SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski issued a statement Thursday to address questions regarding the delay in rebuilding Cathedral High School.
Rozanski said despite efforts earlier this year, there has been no clear consensus or recommendation on how the reconstruction of the school will move forward.
“It may surprise some to know that there have been many who have cautioned me to proceed carefully, given the economic realities of our area, our diocese and the current diminishing enrollment in all our Catholic Schools,” Rozanski said in the statement.
Students have been attending classes at the former Memorial School building in Wilbraham, since the high school’s building on Surrey Road in Springfield was destroyed in the June 1, 2011 tornado.
In March, FEMA awarded the high school and St. Michael’s Academy $29 million dollars to rebuild. That’s in addition to the $40 million dollar insurance settlement the Springfield Diocese received for the schools.
In June, Springfield Diocese spokesman Mark Dupont told 22News they were hopeful the school would re-open in early 2017.
Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno comments on Bishop Rozanski’s open letter regarding the rebuilding of Cathedral:
In response to an open letter issued Thursday by the Most Reverend Mitchell T. Rozanski in regards to the rebuilding of Cathedral High School on Surrey Road in Springfield. Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states: “After several years of tough negotiations and working in unison with Bishop McDonnell and Congressman Richard E. Neal I was proud to stand with them on March 3, 2014 on the steps of Cathedral to announce a significant settlement with FEMA. The $38.5 million settlement, $29 million to go towards the construction on a new school on Surrey Road, was a hard fought victory for the City in our on-going tornado recovery efforts.
Bishop McDonnell declared to the gathered residents, many who were alumnae, parents and grandparents of students, that Cathedral will be rebuilt on Surrey Road. This news was met with much fanfare and celebration. In addition the $10 million tuition assistance campaign was kicked-off with significant contributions in hand and without question, will pick up significantly once shovels are in the ground.”
I am hopeful that Bishop Mitchell Rozanski and the Diocese will live up to their commitments made on that day to rebuild Cathedral where it belongs on Surrey Road. The extended Cathedral family and the neighborhood deserve nothing less.”