St. Alphonsus collects a fourth of what it needs to stay open
St. Alphonsus Liguori School in Prospect Heights has collected $110,000 of the $400,000 cash in hand it needs to keep from closing in June, with a deadline of Feb. 8 looming.
The school has received pledges of $332,000 from supporters.
All $400,000 must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8 for the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools to consider the goal met.
As the school's low enrollment is the reason behind the fundraiser, a second goal is to register 135 students along with payment of the $200-per-child fee by Feb. 8.
As of Friday, 70 students had completed the registration process for the 2016-17 school year, said Anne Maselli, director of communications and marketing for the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools.
The 135-student goal is considered a steppingstone toward the approximately 225 students the archdiocese would ultimately want to see to keep St. Alphonsus Liguori School open.
The 58-year-old school has been challenged by its declining enrollment, but the parish pastor, the Rev. Curt Lambert, has previously expressed confidence that it can market itself more strongly if given another year to do so.
He said the school faced and overcame a similar enrollment challenge in the early 1990s.
The school currently has 159 students but will lose 21 of them when its larger-than-average eighth-grade class graduates in June.
The archdiocese is expected to announce its decision on the future of St. Alphonsus Liguori School on Friday, Feb. 12 -- four days after the fundraising and registration deadline.