Despite offers from graduates of Holy Angels Academy in North Buffalo to try to keep the school open, school officials repeated Thursday afternoon that the Catholic girls school will close as previously announced.
The only change was that Holy Angels may operate a summer school for junior class members who want to earn their high school diplomas from the academy, which would delay the closing from June 30 to the fall.
“Although there was quite a lot of effort and enthusiasm, the decision was made to move forward with plans to close the school,” school trustee Maureen Maguire announced at a news conference.
Maguire said the board of trustees met on Monday to consider a written proposal from the Save Holy Angels Committee, which included raising $2.5 million in pledges by the middle of June, and had passed its analysis of the plan along to the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, the school’s founders.
Maguire said the board and the Grey Nuns agreed that staying the course on the closing “was the only prudent thing to do.”
“There were no assurances, no details,” Maguire said of the committee’s plan. “There were no names of potential donors, no checks – just a list of pledges. We can’t run a school on pledges. We need cash.”
Maguire also said the 55 students in the junior class will be offered a chance to graduate from Holy Angels in several ways, either through online courses or home schooling, or in summer school at Holy Angels, if there is enough interest.
Maguire said the disposition of the school’s Shoshone Avenue building, which is owned by the Grey Nuns, will be decided later.
“There have been all kinds of rumors flying around, none of which are true,” Maguire said of the building’s future.
Officials at the 152-year-old school announced April 30 that it would close at the end of the school year, citing several factors, including declining enrollment and a major roadblock with a once-promising international program to bring in foreign students.
The news of the closing immediately brought an outpouring of support from the community, alumnae and parents of the 240 students at the private school for girls in grades six through 12.