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McBride buys JFK High School from Fontbonne for new $51M subdivision

Demolition is underway on JFK High School after McBride purchased the 21-acre former school site

ST. LOUIS — Home sales start this weekend for a new $51 million subdivision to be built at the site of the former John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in West County, which Fontbonne University sold to McBride Homes.

Demolition is underway on JFK High School after McBride in November purchased the 21-acre former school site, at 500 Woods Mill Road in Manchester, from Fontbonne for $7.65 million, according to St. Louis County records.

The university had purchased the site from the Archdiocese of St. Louis for $8 million in 2018, with plans for a West County campus extension. But after spending $3 million of a total $30 million project cost, the university started marketing the high school for sale for $15 million when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. It cited a need to focus on its main campus in Clayton and generate new revenue streams.

McBride, St. Louis' largest homebuilder by revenue, will open sales Saturday for the Celtic Meadows subdivision. With a location at Highway 141 and Manchester Road, the homebuilder expects the 68 single-family houses to be as popular as another McBride subdivision near the same intersection in Manchester, the Arbors at the Highlands, which was announced in February. The 60 home sites in that $33 million development sold out in less than three months after sales started in September, the builder said.

Prices for houses in Celtic Meadows will start at $530,000, with options for ranches, split level or two floors. Every house will have a three-car garage.

McBride named the new subdivision in homage to the Celts, the athletic nickname of Kennedy High School, which closed in 2017 after opening in 1968. One of the subdivision’s streets will be called Kennedy Lane. Utility disconnections and abatement are underway, and physical demolition of the 118,300-square-foot school should start in the next 30 days, a McBride spokeswoman said. 

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