Bishop OKs Mooney move with stipulations

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The relocation of Cardinal Mooney High School from Youngstown’s South Side to the suburbs has been approved by Youngstown Catholic Bishop George Murry, but there are stipulations that must be met.

In a news release sent after business hours, Murry said he would agree to the move if the results of a financial feasibility study show there is sufficient financial support for both a new high school building and an endowment fund to provide scholarships for needy students.

The release states the decision was based on the recommendation of the five-member committee established by the bishop to review all the information, both old and new, concerning Mooney High School. It also states the bishop consulted with the executive committees of both Ursuline’s and Cardinal Mooney’s Board of Directors about the possibility of  merging the city’s two Catholic high schools.  Both executive committees did not think a merger was a viable option, and the five-member committee also did not support a merger of the two schools.

Dr. Nicholas Wolsonovich, Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools, said Mooney President Fr. Gerald DeLucia and the school’s Board of Directors are “encouraged by the Bishop’s decision and will begin moving forward enthusiastically to carry out his directives.”

The President and Board will develop an overall plan for the new building, including a funding plan and an endowment fund.

A study commissioned by Cardinal Mooney concluded the high school would see more growth if it moved from Youngstown to the southern Mahoning County suburbs. The results of that study were released in April.

However, Bishop Murry went against the recommendation of the Mooney Board of Directors and announced in June that the school would remain on Erie Street.

Later that month, Murry reconsidered his decision after it was learned there was asbestos in the building that would have to be abated, which would drive up the cost of renovations. Original cost estimates were $18 million to renovate the existing building and $25 million to build a new one in the suburbs, most likely in Boardman.

Cardinal Mooney has been located at Erie Street and Indianola Avenue on Youngstown’s South Side since 1956. Its employees pay roughly $80,000 a year in city income tax to Youngstown.

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