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ALLSTON — After 80 years serving the community of Allston-Brighton, St. Anthony School is closing its doors, according to an Aug. 16 statement by the Archdiocese of Boston.
The decision, based on the recommendation of the pastor of St. Anthony Parish, is due to a decline in enrollment in the past year and financial pressures resulting from such a decline, the statement said.
The statement pointed to the fact that the school was facing a deficit of $281,796 for the upcoming year and enrollment at St. Anthony’s declined from 187 this past June to only 94 for the upcoming school year.
"It is our hope that families will continue to choose Catholic school education for their children," the statement said.
The pastor and school personnel at St. Anthony’s are working with parents who wish to continue to enroll their children in a Catholic school.
"The Archdiocese has enough classroom space at St. Columbkille’s in Boston and St. Mary’s in Brookline to accommodate the needs of all the families impacted by the closing of St. Anthony’s and who wish to continue the education of their children in Catholic schools,” the statement said.
According to Terry Donilon, a spokesperson for the archdiocese, demographic changes in the neighborhood have adversely impacted registration at St. Anthony’s, as families of 29 children left the neighborhood altogether. An additional 22 children graduated this year and another 25 children did not respond to registration requests, he said.
Donilon further commented that one-third of the students at St. Anthony’s came from outside the city. Its location, conveniently located off a Massachusetts Turnpike exit, made it easy for parents working in Boston to drop their children at the school, he said.
This is the second school closing in the Allston-Brighton area this year. Last June Our Lady of Presentation School closed because of enrollment declines, rising operating costs and increasing deficits, according to the archdiocese.