St. James the Greater School May Have to Close This Year

Declining enrollment is creating a financial crunch at the Dogtown institution

Kevin Killeen
January 23, 2019 - 7:56 am
School chalkboard

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The St. James the Greater historic grade school in Dogtown may have to close after this school year because of declining enrollment.

The pastor of the church notified parishioners Sunday that the school needs more than $200,000 to keep going, and enrollment has fallen to about 75 students.

Neighbors of the school are reacting to the news.

"I think it's a terrible shame that they'd have to close this wonderful school," local resident Joseph Ryan told KMOX's Kevin Killeen. "I'm a south St. Louis Irishman myself and I have great respect for everything that's been done here."

Just two years ago the school raised money to avoid a shutdown sought by the Arch Diocese.  No word on whether a new round of fund raising is planned. 

"My biggest fear is when the school closes, their kids will enroll somewhere else and the church would be affected," said Rodger Bailey, who runs a hair salon near the school. "If the church closes, I think it's a lot worse of a situation than if the school closes. Then everything tumbles down, it becomes a party neighborhood, and then we're not a nice neighborhood everyone can live in."

At one time the school had some 200 students.