CHICAGO (CBS)– St. Walter Catholic Elementary, in Morgan Park, had until Monday to raise nearly $365,000 or it would be forced to shutdown.
The school has almost reached their goal. The principal says they are meeting with the Archdiocese Tuesday to ask for an extension.
The principal did not confirm how much the school has raised, but she does say, they are very close to the $365,000 needed to keep the school operating for the next two years.
Nineteenth ward Ald. Matthew O’Shea says St. Walter has been part of Morgan Park, for more than 60 years.
“There has been a tremendous effort, from the school, Parrish and alumni, to help save this institution and if they’re not successful it won’t be because they didn’t try,” O’Shea said.
The parents are happy with the progress.
“Phew that’s good news,” parent Lynne Kelly said. “That’s taken a lot off my mind, because I was really concerned because my kids, they love it here.”
Kelly’s children are among the 118 students attending St. Walter Catholic School.
The principal says with fewer people moving out of the community and not many new families moving in, enrollment has dwindled from 160 students. The impact created the need for a fundraiser to keep the school open.
“My family has been great, my friends have been great, everyone’s been donating,” Kelly said.
Three of Kelly Lorenzen’s children and her 4-year-old grandson, Gavin, attend the school.
“I like that we get to learn and take a nap,” Gavin said.
“It’s a wonderful school and it’s so great we’re making it to our quota,” Lorenzen said. “God is being good.”
“It is a very special school, my son loves it,” Parent Kendra Wingfield.” said. “He’s been going here since pre-k, we’re praying and hoping that we reach the goal.”
Student Rashad Thomas says he loves his school because it is “special.”
In a statement the archdiocese says they haven’t granted an extension or made any other decisions at this point.