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Third Catholic School Granted Reprieve From Closure

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CHICAGO (STMW) – A Far South Side Catholic school that was slated to be closed by the Archdiocese of Chicago will remain open after school officials and community groups were able to raise the money needed to keep its doors open.

After being pegged for closure last January, St. Florian School, 13110 S. Baltimore Ave., will remain open for the foreseeable future with a combination of tuition increases, greater outside support and increased oversight and governance, officials announced Saturday.

The school organized a pledge drive that netted $82,000 in cash and checks for the 2014-2015 school year, with $95,000 also committed for the next two subsequent school years, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago.

St. Florian is the third school to be reprieved after the Archdiocese announced the planned closures of six area Catholic schools earlier this year. Our Lady of Victory on the Northwest Side and St. Christopher in southwest suburban Midlothian had previously been allowed to remain open after the Archdiocese labeled them for closure.

In a letter to St. Florian principal Krisa Wilkinson, the Archdiocese said it is “critical” that the school’s community continue to work with parishioners, families and alumni to ensure the school’s viability.

“This opportunity could not have happened without your vision, honesty, and expertise which resulted in a careful plan to ensure that St. Florian will be there in service and mission, providing confidence in a strong academic and religious program,” the letter read

The three remaining schools that will be closed are the Stewart Avenue campus of the Academy of St. Benedict the African on the South Side, St. Bernadette in Evergreen Park and Santa Maria del Popolo in Mundelein.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)