St. Stephen School in Niles to close at end of the year - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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St. Stephen School in Niles to close at end of the year

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NILES, Ohio - After 146 years, St. Stephen Catholic school in Niles will close it's doors for good at the end of the school year.

The announcement came Wednesday from the office of Bishop George Murry, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown. In a written statement, Reverend Thomas Kraszewski, pastor of St. Stephen Parish stated that is was the desire of the governing board of the school to have the funds raised and the enrollment increased to continue the tradition of Catholic education at the school, but time and the financial stress on the parish would make it impossible to continue.

St. Stephen school opened in 1868. A decrease in enrollment and the inability of the parish to keep subsidizing the school are the driving forces behind the decision.

According to church officials, St. Stephen parish was contributing approximately $190,000 dollars a year to subsidize the school. The subsidy was recently reduced to allow the church to meet other financial obligations. The school was then asked to raise $100,000 to support itself but was unable to meet that goal.

Dr. Nicholas Wolsoniovich, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese said he's disappointed the school is closing, adding that for the first time in 150 years there will be no Catholic school in Niles.

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