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City council wants Mooney to stay in Youngstown

Published: Mon, April 8, 2013 @ 10:24 p.m.

City council wants Mooney to stay in Youngstown


Six of the seven-member Youngstown City Council met with representatives of the Cardinal Mooney High School board of directors behind closed doors.

The Mooney board asked for the meeting, said Councilwoman Janet Tarpley, D-6th, following the Monday meeting that appeared to violate the Ohio open meetings law.

The so-called “Sunshine Law” requires meetings of at least a majority of city council members to be open to the public.

Cardinal Mooney “is one of our anchors in our city, and has been for years, and to lose it would be a tremendous tragedy,” Tarpley said.

Mooney has been on the city’s South Side since 1956. About 580 students attend the private Catholic school.

Last year, the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown hired Catholic School Management Inc. of Madison, Conn., to conduct a feasibility study regarding moving the school to a new location versus renovating and updating the existing structure.

It’s important for the school to remain in the city, council members told Mooney representatives, according to Tarpley.

Youngstown does not have other “excellent” schools, she said.

“So this is something that we need to help stabilize this community,” she said.

City council is considering ways to encourage the board to choose to remain in the city, Tarpley said. Nothing specific has been offered, however.

The school’s board of directors will make a recommendation about moving or not. Bishop George Murry will make the final decision. A decision is expected by the end of the school year.

City leadership’s opinion is an important part of the bishop’s decision, said the Rev. Gerald DeLucia, Mooney president, following the meeting.

“He needs all the information he can possibly gather to make that decision, and Youngstown leadership is a big part of that,” Father DeLucia said. “It would be both disrespectful and, I think, inadequate to not include Youngstown leadership.”

City council members indicated an understanding of the school’s needs, he said, but encouraged it to remain in the city.

The school serves not only students in Youngstown, but increasingly in southern Mahoning County and Columbiana County, he said.

Also factoring into the potential move is needed repairs to the school’s current building. The cost to upgrade the existing structure is estimated at $18 million, while the cost of building a new school is estimated at between $24 million and $25 million.

As a non-profit organization, Cardinal Mooney does not pay property taxes. However, the city would lose about $80,000 in city income tax collected from employees of the school.


1republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

The neighborhood around Mooney is horrendous and blighted. Been through the uptown section recently? It looks like a war zone with abandoned buildings.

Youngstown city leaders are used to living in filth and can't see the crumbling around them.

Suggest removal:

2beach4life(11 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

It is sad that nothing has been done in years to keep that school building up to date.

Suggest removal:

3DwightK(1535 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Just moving out of the city will give the school employees a 2.75% pay raise.

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4walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

This is a no-brainer! The currnet physical plant is over 50 years old, built in an era when energy was cheap and plentiful. The current layout and school structure is not conducive to a modern learning environment. Add to that, the current school is in the middle of "gang central". If the school is to truly serve the needs of the area's Catholic community by providing an education based in Catholic philosophy, then a new school should be built on Western Reserve Rd. in Boardman. This would serve the Canfield-Boardman-Poland area, where the best students reside. This way, the school is in a safe location, close to the student's family home. Any athletes required to provide winning sports teams can easily be bussed in and out.

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5ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(253 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Question? How does a school "all of a sudden" need $18 million dollars in renovations? Weren`t they upkeeping and maintaining the facilities all along?

Did Mooney purposely not maintain the building for years in hopes of forcing the move?

Ursuline didn`t seem to have any problems maintaining their campus.

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6TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Of course they should move absolute no brainer. There will be some of the "do-gooder" crowd who blast the administration and diocese for adding to the blight of the community-I think I read somewhere that Mr. Kidd made such a statement. As if this PRIVATELY funded institution should accept their students driving to and from school via a warzone. Additionally it is fiscally ridiculous to maintain the current facility. Its almost socialistic in application. Parents PAY MORE TO SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO BETTER SCHOOLS!! The decision should be solely theirs as to where it is located. No parent should be frowned upon for having more allegiance to their children than to the fiscal state of the community. I "Defend Youngstown" so much that I send my kids to a crime-ridden area to learn ..... that's an absolutely WHACKO idea.

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7poland21(108 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Maybe Mooney can work out a deal to move into P. Ross Berry or Volney Rogers. Both buildings are brand new and being closed in the proposed school plan.

Ytown keeps its income taxes, Youngstown schools avoid competing (and losing dollars to) a new Charter school and Mooney parents don't need to raise millions of dollars to build a school.

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