Galveston's O'Connell High May Close

O'Connell College Prep, the only Catholic high school in Galveston, is in danger of closing (again).

Earlier, it was just the general crunch hitting many Catholic schools.

This time, it's Hurricane Ike.

Principal Patrick Danesi told parents last night that the school is "in a state of trouble."

They're taking out loans to meet payroll.

The Galveston Daily News reported:

[The school] lost 14 students and $98,000 in tuition after Hurricane Ike roared ashore Sept. 13, flooding 75 percent of the island and damaging the houses of 78 of the school’s families.

Some financially strapped families have been unable to pay tuition, shorting the school $50,000 in revenue during three months, Danesi told a crowded cafeteria of parents and students.

Danesi says they have a potential donor to offer matching funds if supporters can raise $200,000.

O'Connell was opened 40 years ago in a merger of three Catholic high schools.

-- Richard Connelly

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