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Study shows a Mooney move could be beneficial

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Cardinal Mooney may soon be on the brink of some major changes.

A recent study shows the high school could see additional enrollment if they were to move from where they are now, in Youngstown, to a new location in the southern part of Mahoning County.

The Catholic Diocese is now weighing the pros and cons before making any decisions.

A shift in demographics is one of the main reasons given in favor of relocating Cardinal Mooney.

When the school first came on the scene in the mid 50's, Youngstown's population was nearly triple what it is now. Since then, the school says the Catholic population has shifted to the suburbs.

"The population would tell us that enrollment would be a little larger and be maintained for a longer period of time at a new location," says Father Gerald DeLucia, president of Cardinal Mooney High School.

The school is considering a location in the Boardman-area.

But the Father stresses no definite decision to move has been made and they are in no way turning their backs on the inner city and non-Catholic students.

"Without them, Mooney would not quite be Mooney either because our diversity, our city suburb bridge is a very crucial part of who we are," DeLucia says.

Before anything is final, a lot of number crunching needs to be done. The school predicts a move could bring in about 100 additional students. That number needs to justify the expense of a new building.

Even if they decide not to build a brand new school, Mooney officials say the plan calls for millions of dollars in renovations right here at the current building.

"We're going to be asking for money. It'll be a major campaign in either direction. We're going to approach the alumni and all those who are in any way stakeholders already or want to be in Cardinal Mooney's future," DeLucia says.

School officials will meet next week with the faith-based ACTION committee, as well as Youngstown city officials.

"We can do things to make it better for them to stay here. Of course, the city would do whatever we can to keep them here. So we're willing to work with the school to come up with something," says Janet Tarpley, Youngstown City Council.

Bishop George Murry is expected to make an announcement before the end of the school year.

 

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