Bishop Mitchell Rozanski has announced where the new Pope Francis High School will be built. He selected the Surrey Road site in Springfield, where the old Cathedral High School stood.
Four years ago, on that very site, the old Cathedral High School was destroyed by a tornado
"I have decided to pursue the construction of Pope Francis High School on Surrey Road in Springfield," said Rozanski.
The decision came down to two sites: Surrey Road and a site in Chicopee off Route 33.
Rozanski said both sites were good, but Surrey Road was better.
"The diocese owns the Surrey Road property and what we wanted to do was put our resources into the building of the school itself and also to have seed money for an endowment," Rozanski explained.
Endowment, Rozanski said, is critical.
The bishop also announced that the new mascot will be called the Pope Francis Cardinals. The school colors will be red, gray, white, and gold.
Also in attendance at the announcement were students from both Cathedral and Holyoke Catholic High Schools.
"We're very excited. We've been positive through the entire process and I think his reasoning for picking this site is a good one and I'm glad we're putting money into the endowment and building of the new school," said Hannah Nguyen, Cathedral class of 2015
"I think we were optimistic either way. We've already moved from Holyoke to Granby, back to Chicopee. We would have liked to stay in Chicopee, but moving to Surrey Road is another option," added Tommy Heavren, Holyoke Catholic class of 2015
Another option, the diocese said, will include a busing transportation plan that will help students from out of town get to the new Pope Francis High School.
Rozanski said plans call for the new high school to be completed by the fall of 2018.
Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved
New regional Catholic high school to be built on Surrey Road in SpringfieldMore>>