PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Two more Pittsburgh Catholic Schools will be merging during the next school year.

Parishioners were notified at Mass on Sunday and school officials reacted to the news Monday morning.

The diocese said was a difficult decision, but one that had to be made. Tuition, maintenance and declining population are the main factors for the merger.

For Cardinal Wright Regional and St. Cyril of Alexandria Catholic Schools, it was only a matter of time. Like so many other Catholic schools, they will soon merge.

“We have two schools on the North Side that are fairly close in proximity and their numbers have been declining. So, we’re going to pool the resources together and we’re able to combine both schools and I think we’ll have a stronger program. In fact, tuition is going to be stabilized and we hope that we can have a better program operating in one building,” Fr. Kris Stubna said.

The schools will combine and use the building currently home to St. Cyril, because the structure at Cardinal Wright is becoming too expensive to maintain.

“The buildings are aging and so they take a lot of capital improvements. Plus, as the numbers go down, in order to balance the budget, the tuition goes up and that puts a financial strain on a lot of our parents. Particularly in this economy,” Fr. Stubna said.

The new school has yet to be named, but whatever its title, the diocese said it’s the best option to keep the idea of a Catholic school on the North Side alive and thriving.

“In combining both schools, we should have a school of over 250 children.  And it’ll be a strong school on the North Side, so that we can continue to be present and have a Catholic education for the families there that really desire it,” Fr. Stubna said.

The diocese said if they didn’t make this move, tuition for both schools would have gone up an additional $2,000 to $3,000 dollars next year.

The new school will start classes in the fall of 2011.

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