First New City Catholic Grade School in Half-Century Opening Monday

by Debbie Monterrey dcmonterrey@cbs.com

The last time a Catholic parish in St. Louis City built a new grade school building was 1965-66. It was St. Margaret of Scotland in the Shaw neighborhood.

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Photo by Debbie Monterrey

Monday morning, a brand new middle school is opening. It will be the first new Catholic school grade school construction since 1966.

The parish held an Open House Sunday following it’s 10:00 mass, at which three babies were baptized. To say the South City Parish is growing steadily would be an understatement. Baptisms outnumber funerals at the Parish by about 100 to 1. The pre-K through 8th grade school will surpass 500 students this year, several years sooner than estimated by Archdiocese demographers.

The St. Margaret of Scotland parish began its capital campaign to raise $2-million dollars less than two years ago. Ground was broken on a snowy February day this year. On Monday, August 31st, the school opens officially for 6th, 7th and 8th graders.

The new middle school at St. Margaret of Scotland in the Shaw neighborhood. Photo by Debbie Monterrey

The new middle school at St. Margaret of Scotland in the Shaw neighborhood. Photo by Debbie Monterrey

While overall census numbers show the city of St. Louis losing population, the neighborhoods around St. Margaret’s (Shaw, Tower Grove East, Tower Grove South) are showing steady growth, especially among young professionals with children.

Overlooking Shaw Avenue. Photo by Debbie Monterrey

Overlooking Shaw Avenue. Photo by Debbie Monterrey

The original St. Margaret’s school building was built more than 100 years ago. The second building was completed in 1966. The school will now be a three-building campus.

The official dedication of the middle school will be Sunday, September 27th at 10 a.m. with liturgy at Mass presided by Archbishop Carlson, followed by a procession from church to the school campus with a blessing and invocation at 11:30 a.m.

At that time, the middle school will get it’s official name, and the building formerly known as the “new” building will also be renamed.

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