Lebanon – After a yearlong hiatus, Lebanon Catholic School plans to return for the 2021-22 academic year under the new name Our Lady of the Cross School.
Principal Deb Waters announced the K-12 school’s return on the LCS Family Facebook page Aug. 3 following a successful bid on a new building. The next day, a follow-up post revealed the new site will be at the former Youth for Christ building on Grace Ave. in North Lebanon Township.
Our Lady of the Cross School has yet to complete the settlement process for the Youth for Christ building, including inspection, appraisal and closing of the property.
Lebanon Catholic, formerly located at 1400 Chestnut St. in Lebanon, shuttered at the end of the 2019-20 academic year.
In the livestream announcement, Waters thanked the community supporting Lebanon Catholic.
“LC Family, your patience and your prayers have buoyed and continued to motivate the board and I can’t tell you how important they are to them,” she said.
Bishop William Gainer of the Diocese of Harrisburg cited financial debt and poor enrollment as reasons for the school’s initial closure. Since then, a group of students, staff, family, alumni and community members formed the Lebanon Catholic (LC) Strong, with an elected board and designated foundation, to preserve Catholic education in Lebanon County.
Because the Diocese declined to continue financial support, the group intends to seek financial independence as a private school. The school will charge tuition but aims to stay affordable, according to the LC Strong website. Pre-K, Kindergarten and grades 9-12 will cost $5,000 a year, grades 1-5 will cost $4,000 a year and grades 6-8 will cost $4,500 a year.
Registration for pre-K to 12th grade opened Aug. 9 and classes will begin on Sept. 13.
Until then, Waters asked for prayer and volunteers to prepare the new building for academics. Our Lady of the Cross School is also accepting donations at the LC Strong website. If anyone has “loaves and fishes” to give, Waters joked that the school will need them.
“Time is of the essence if we’re going to get this thing off the ground for the coming school year which is the hope and the excitement and the prayer,” she said.
Efforts to reach officials at Lebanon Catholic School were unsuccessful.