Cardinal Mooney High School has been at its current Erie Street location on the South side of Youngstown since 1956.
For the foreseeable future, Mooney will remain there. In a somewhat surprising announcement made by Youngstown Bishop George Murry to the Cardinal Mooney board of directors on June 4, the legendary institution will not move to the suburbs despite the board's wishes to do so. Bishop Murry had the final say on the school's move and overrode the board's vote.
In a statement made by the Bishop, he said that he recognizes and appreciates the different perspectives on both sides. He also acknowledged and appreciated the time and effort put forth by Cardinal Mooney President Father George DeLucia and the board during this "unique period." That respect was sent back to the bishop by the board of directors.
"The board of directors of Cardinal Mooney High School supports the decision of Bishop Murry that Cardinal Mooney will remain in its present location, renovating its facilities and campus, continuing to strengthen its academic programs and working to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff," wrote executive assistant to the president Nancy Mikos in a statement.
Mikos went on to explain that the long and marvelous history the school has had at its current location played a major role in Bishop Murry's motion.
"The bishop made his decision based on the success of Cardinal Mooney's mission for almost 60 years at its present site and believes that that same mission to provide a quality Catholic education through sanctity, scholarship and discipline will continue to be successful."
It is believed that that the success referred to by Mikos will continue too. Although a study by Catholic School Management of Connecticut concluded that Mooney would sustain better enrollment for a longer period of time if it did indeed move, a mission statement made by the diocese announced that it will actually cost less to renovate the current building than to put up a new one in the 'burbs. Early estimates were $18 million to renovate the current high school compared to $25 million to build a new one. That adds up to a total savings of $7 million. That extra money can help Mooney possibly expand, which in turn, would help beautify the older neighborhood around Erie Street and Indianola Ave. That plan is one applauded by council members in the ward where Mooney currently stands.
It is uncertain how soon all of the renovations will commence, but according to Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools Dr. Nicholas Wolsonovich, those fix-ups will work in conjunction with a possible upgrade of academic programs. A better plan, if necessary, of safety around the school for students and faculty has also been discussed with local law enforcement.
According to Mikos all that was holding up the board from getting the wheels in motion to fortify the school was a firm decision on the relocation. It now has that.
"With a clear vision now of where we are going, we the board of directors will begin immediately a process of formulating a plan of action," said Mikos. "We are certain that the entire Mooney family will come together and, as always, work together to preserve and advance the excellent tradition of Cardinal Mooney High School."