Mooney officials look for funding

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Cardinal Mooney High School officials said Wednesday they are focusing on finding the $25 million to build a new school in southern Mahoning County following Bishop George Murry’s announcement on Tuesday that he will allow the school to move from Youngstown’s South Side.

Officials said the move will be contingent upon the school finding the $25 million it will take to build a new building and for a $5 million endowment for low-income students to attend the private school.

A financial feasibility study commissioned by Murry will show if the school will be able to come up with the funding.

“We have to finalize plans for the building and determine their costs, locate the property and put together a financial plan and, of course, implement that financial plan,” said Catholic Schools Superintendent Nick Wolsonovich. “It’s one thing to put it on paper, but it’s another thing to go out and get the money.”

Murry originally decided to keep the school in Youngstown. Months later, he said officials discovered asbestos was going to need to be removed from the building, which would have driven up costs of the planned renovation to about $18 million.

The school brings in $80,000 per year in city income tax.

Wolsonovich said merging with Youngstown Ursuline High School is not an option.

“Experience around the country shows if we were to merge the one school with the other or put them together someplace else, you probably would lose a good percentage, 40, 50 or 60 percent of one of the schools and populations so that would mean we would lose a couple hundred students,” Wolsonovich said.

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