ST. LOUIS — A historic Catholic school in Dogtown is closing it's doors just a few years after the community rallied to save it.
Kindergartners through eighth-graders at St. James the Greater will finish out the year and find a new school next year.
In a Facebook post, Father RajPaul Sundararaj said the reason is low enrollment.
He then goes on to say despite the community raising more than $300,000 two years ago, the school would need nearly that much again to stay open.
Joe Jovanivich remembers the school well.
"I was surprised and upset," said Jovanivich.
It's something a whole community is asking about.
"To all of a sudden find out on Facebook out of nowhere, I mean I'm very low on the totem pole of people of people who should be hurt. I'm thinking of the parents and students and teachers," added Jovanivich.
The announcement is sad news, especially for a business owner who helped kids keep their school open two years ago.
"It was inspiring to see these kids advocate for themselves, they weren't given that chance this time from what I can see all of a sudden it was guess what kids, boom, school is closing," Jovanivich said.
A school that's been the lifeblood of a strong community.
"It goes beyond just the school, people are connected to this community because of the school and they're connected to the school because of the community so it's just sort of this loop that you can't snip," Jovanivich said.
Here is the full statement from the Archdiocese of St. Louis...
The parents, parish leadership, and the Office of Catholic Education and Formation deserve a tremendous amount of thanks in attempting to keep St. James the Greater school running this last year.
Over the past 18 months, there have been over six community meetings and multiple level Council meetings attended by the pastor of St. James the Greater, Fr. RajPaul Sundararaj. Additionally, Father includes detailed information in the bulletin every week and at weekend Masses. This decision was made after a great deal of transparency, discussion, and information sharing.
Despite the efforts of all involved, decreasing enrollment numbers are an unfortunate sign of our times and changes in population.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis’ education office will be happy to assist parents as they find other accommodations for their children within the Catholic school system.