New Catholic Elementary School Opens in South Loop

By Franci Feirstein
|  Tuesday, Sep 6, 2011  |  Updated 8:39 PM CDT
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New Catholic Elementary School Opens in South Loop

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At a time when many Catholic Schools are closing, Old St. Mary’s in Chicago’s South Loop on Tuesday opened a new, state-of-the art, 33,000-square foot building.

The school actually first opened back in 2004 with just 18 students. It's now home to more than 260, in pre-school through 6th Grade. Seventh and eighth will eventually be added.

"We could not have done it without the support of the Chicago Archdiocese, the parents, teachers, parishioners, and good neighbors of the South Loop," noted Dr. Mary Lee Calihan, Principal of Old St. Mary's School. "I've been an educator for over 20 years and have lived in Chicago all my life, and I feel very privileged to be part of such a rewarding and exciting endeavor."

The school, at 1474 S. Michigan Ave., has 18 classrooms, a learning resource center, a science room and a fine arts room.

It's also a WeatherBug site, with a camera showing the current weather in the South Loop.

An Open House for parishioners and neighbors will be on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 12:30 p.m. The official Dedication of new school will be at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, Sept. 29.

Old St. Mary's was Founded in 1833 by the Paulist Fathers and was Chicago's first Catholic congregation. The parish moved from Wabash and Van Buren in 2002 when they built their current church in the South Loop.

This is the sixth location the parish has occupied.

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