DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A Catholic school in Dayton is set to close at the end of this school year.
According to a release, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School, operated by St. Anthony of Padua Parish in East Dayton, will close at the end of the 2023-2024 school year.
The ceiling structure of the underground boiler room — independent of the 108-year-old building — has reportedly deteriorated to where it is considered structurally unsound.
Steps were taken to temporarily shore up the room and last year, in an effort to find a permanent solution, a professional engineering firm conducted an assessment and estimated costs of repair.
The assessment allegedly found that most of the 108-year-old buildings’ mechanical systems are at the end of their functional life and must be repaired, upgraded or replaced. In addition, the boiler room structure would need permanent repair.
If all needs were addressed, the firm estimated that the total cost would be approximately $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 Northeast 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 families, staff, and parishioners have been made aware of this decision. The school currently has an enrollment of 156 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. The school also employs 14 paid teachers and staff.
For the 2023-2024 school year, surrounding Catholic schools including three within the Northeast 7 Family of Parishes have been asked to give priority acceptance to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School students.