Archdiocese to break ground on first new school in 60 years on Wednesday

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A rendering of the Mother Mary Lange Catholic School. Image via the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore will break ground Wednesday on the Mother
Mary Lange Catholic School, the Catholic Church’s first new school in six decades.

The planned 65,000-square-foot complex will be built on two vacant lots at 732 W. Lexington St. and 763 Dr. Benjamin Quarles Place, just west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and house students from the Saints James & John and Holy Angels Catholic schools.

“Providing our youth quality education and pathways to success is at the core of our mission,” Archbishop William E. Lori said in a statement. “This significant investment by the Archdiocese of Baltimore and our partners represents our unqualified commitment to the City, and most especially, to the families and communities that deserve a safe, nurturing, state-of-the-art environment to gather, to learn and mature, to celebrate and make possible a better future for themselves and for us all.”

The church announced in September 2018 that the school would be named for Lange, an African-American nun who helped found the Oblate Sisters of Providence to educate young, French-speaking refugees of the Haitian Revolution. In 1828, the order opened a Catholic school for girls, which would eventually become St. Frances Academy, a school still in operation today.

Slated to open in fall 2021, the $24 million building boasts modern classrooms focused on science, technology, engineering and math, digital media, and art and music. The church expects the population will grow from a little more than 400 students to 520 by the fourth year of operation.

The church also expects 80 to 90 percent of those students to qualify for tuition assistance, which will come from the Archdiocese’s Partners In Excellence Scholarship Program and other public and private funds.

In a statement, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young praised the Archdiocese of Baltimore for working to improve quality of life in the city and state.

“Now with the creation of this 21st Century educational center of excellence, the Archdiocese continues this legacy, enabling a new generation to benefit from its commitment to providing quality education,” he said. “We could not be more grateful to the Archdiocese of Baltimore for their investment, commitment and partnership in making possible this new era of opportunity for our young people, their families and in fact, our entire community.”

Brandon Weigel

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