SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – When Pope Francis High School’s new 122,000 square-foot facility in Springfield opens next year, students will not just be attending school in a new building- they’ll also be attending a school with a new name.
Officials at the school announced Sunday that when the Wendover Road building opens next August, the grades 9-12 school will become known as the “Pope Francis Preparatory School.” In a news release sent to 22News, Pope Francis Board of Directors chair Michele D’Amour said that the name change is appropriate for their new direction.
“The mission of the school as a Christ-centered institution will remain the same. The name change better reflects the core of that mission to develop well-educated critical thinkers and faith-based leaders. The opening of a new facility provides the perfect opportunity to make that change,” D’Amour said.
Pope Francis High School itself is a fairly new name, having just come into use with the merger of the athletic programs of the former Cathedral and Holyoke Catholic High Schools in 2015. Students at both Catholic high schools began attending classes at the merged Pope Francis High for the 2016-2017 school year.
Pope Francis High School is currently located at the former Holyoke Catholic campus in Chicopee Center. The new high school building, which is about 50% complete, is under construction at the site of the former Cathedral High School, which was heavily damaged in the June 1, 2011 tornado.