SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Cathedral High School students, parents and alumni all hoped, by now, they would be getting ready to go back to their school on Surrey Road in East Forest Park. Al DeLascia told 22News, “Too long really. 3.5 years is too long.”
Tim Rooke, whose children attend Cathedral, said, “It’s an anchor for the City of Springfield. A lot of families come here to go to Holy Cross School and then to send their children to Cathedral High School. That’s why I moved out to East Forest Park.”
In 2011, the June 1st tornado ripped through East Forest Park and destroyed the school. And more than three years later, the damaged Cathedral building is still in ruins. Retired Bishop Timothy McDonnell had told the community, the Diocese would rebuild it, but Current Bishop Mitchell Rozanski announced there’s no clear consensus on a plan.
The money is there to rebuild Cathedral and St Michaels Academy. The Diocese secured $29 million from FEMA and $40 million from an insurance settlement. However, Spokesman Mark Dupont told 22News the Diocese needs a long-term plan, involving an endowment fund, to sustain the school without outside help.
More than 2,000 students were enrolled when Cathedral first opened on Surrey Raod. In 2006, enrollment was just over 700. Now, it’s around 250. The community remains hopeful. DeLascia said, “It’s spacious land where you can have outdoor facilities, athletic facilities, so it’s an ideal location.”
There is a community meeting scheduled for November 20th, but at this point it’s unclear if Bishop Rozanski will attend. The meeting will be held at St. Anthony’s Hall at 5:30 p.m.