CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — One by one, Catholic schools in Pittsburgh close their doors, as declining enrollments take their toll.
North Catholic High School on Troy Hill held its final commencement this summer. But this story has a happier ending.
The next commencement will be held at the brand new Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School in Cranberry Township.
Visitors toured the building, designed by the Astorino architectural firm. It’s named for Cardinal Donald Wuerl, former bishop of Pittsburgh.
“You kind of feel like you’re on a college campus because of the openness,” says Diocese spokesman Michael Arnold. “The main corridors are vast.”
He says Cranberry Township is the fastest growing region in the country. Enrollment at Troy Hill had dropped to 202 students. The new school is at 262, with new arrivals every day.
The chapel has space for 260. Unlike Troy Hill, in the new school, the auditorium and the sparkling new gymnasium are not one and the same. But ties to the past remain.
The bell in the bell tower is from Saint Nicholas, and the statue of Mary has also been transferred from the former church on Route 28.
The heavy lifting is done by the Mascaro construction company. For construction supervisor Tim Hanna, this project is personal.
“I graduated in ’68,” he recalls. “And then I had three children that attended North Catholic, graduated also.”
The new North Catholic will soon create memories of its own.