St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, an independent, tuition-free middle school for boys, will move from its location on Calvert Street in Mount Vernon to Federal Hill and the building that most recently housed the Catholic Community School in time for the 2013-14 school year.
The school for students from low-income backgrounds will relocate from St. Ignatius Parish to St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish, where the school building at Battery Avenue and Gittings Street opened in 1914 and later served a cluster of parishes until closing in 2009 .
An email from St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, which opened in 1993, noted that “Growing boys have filled the narrow hallways and small classrooms of St. Ignatius Loyola Academy for almost 20 years now,” and that “we are moving into a school with facilities that better reflect our successful educational program.”
“Our board of directors first talked about moving years ago,” said John Ciccone, president of St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, which has 70 boys enrolled this year. “We have some fundraising to do, but we’re very excited about this opportunity.”
Ciccone described several challenges that will be alleviated by the move.
“Right now, we have no real library space, just some bookshelves in a room,” Ciccone said. “We have a postage-sized playground (for physical education) and use mini-busses to Druid Hill Park. Now we’ll have a real gymnasium of our own.”
Father Patrick Carrion, pastor of St. Mary, Star of the Sea, told The Catholic Review Oct. 28 that discussions about the move began more than a year ago.
“I think work will start in 2012-13, doing the updates and renovations necessary to turn what was a K-8 school into one for boys in grades 6-7-8,” Father Carrion said. “Obviously, a seventh-grade boy can’t be sitting in a second-grader’s desk. What’s needed in the classroom, on the tech front, has also changed.
“We’re very excited on this end. We chose to be deliberate when our school closed, and wanted the building to remain a Catholic school.”
According to a news release from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, a welcome celebration will take place at the school’s new location Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.