Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Psalms 126:1 So reads an engraving on East Catholic High School at 7320 St. Anthony Place in Detroit. Well, that very well may be the case here as this, the last Catholic high school on the citys East Side, is now closed. Built in 1926, the building was originally home to the St. Anthony School. East Catholic took up residence there in 1971 after St. Anthony closed.
Over the years, as much of the citys Catholic population fled to the suburbs, and the surrounding community became poorer, East Catholics enrollment dropped steadily, from a peak of 900 in the 1970s to 124 in the 2004-2005 school year. On top of that, teaching the kids wasnt getting cheaper. Last year, the church had to kick in nearly half of the $7,200 annual cost per student. Last March, the Archdiocese of Detroit announced that enough was enough, saying East Catholic and 16 other schools in Detroit and its inner ring suburbs would close.
Of the 122 Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit, only 12 now remain in the city itself, zero in the heavily Catholic city of Hamtramck.
And Lewis is soaking up some kudos for a nifty bit of investigating.
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