By Denise Dick
Bishop George V. Murry of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown released a video urging people to support a capital campaign to build a new Cardinal Mooney High School in southern Mahoning County.
“Since its founding over 50 years ago, Cardinal Mooney High School has enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for passing on the Catholic faith,” the bishop said in the video. “It also has been outstanding in its academic preparation of students for college and inspiring them to use their many gifts for the service of others.”
Nicholas Wolsonovich, diocese schools superintendent, said the public campaign still hasn’t kicked off. He called the bishop’s video part of what’s dubbed the campaign’s “quiet phase,” when supporters are approaching past donors and alumni, seeking donations for the project.
The projected cost of a new building is $29.5 million and an additional $5 million endowment must be set aside for scholarships for needy students. Of the endowment, $1.4 million of the school’s existing endowment may be used, Wolsonovich said.
Supporters already have raised “significant” dollars toward the project, he said, declining to divulge the amount. The goal is to raise $23 million during the quiet phase.
For more than a year, some school supporters have been advocating a move to the county’s southern suburbs. An enrollment feasibility study, conducted by Meitler Consultants of Milwaukee, found that the school would gain 100 to 150 students if it moved to the suburbs.
By building a new school in a new location, Mooney has an opportunity to renew its commitment to those values of academic preparation and passing on the Catholic faith, Bishop Murry said in the video.
“As many of you know, initially I was not in favor of this idea,” Bishop Murry says in the video. “My concern was that a new Cardinal Mooney High School would not be able to maintain the diversity which has contributed to the school’s success. The board of directors, however, has convinced me that it is possible, with careful planning, to move the school into the south suburbs while at the same time providing the means for students in Youngstown to attend.”
He said he supports the capital campaign because he believes all of those who attend the new Mooney will benefit.
“I want this new school to be built because it can become a beacon of hope for generations to come,” the bishop said.
At a school board of directors meeting Dec. 18, based on the status of the campaign at that point, a decision is expected to launch the public campaign or extend the quiet phase.