New Catholic school possibly coming to Columbia

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Diocese of Jefferson City are looking into adding another inter parish elementary school in Columbia.

Nearly 80 people from Columbia's three parishes met Sunday afternoon at Our Lady of Lourdes to discuss the possibilities and challenges of a new school. One of the biggest issues was the cost to build and how high tuition would then be set.

The Columbia Catholic School at Our Lady of Lourdes is currently the city's only Catholic elementary. Father Tolton High School just opened its doors last fall. But, the decision on which grades and what types of programming to offer at a new school could change over the course of several planned listening sessions.

"This is a discernment process and it's about trying together, the leadership of the church with the people of god, joining together to discover is this the best way to meet the growing population needs of the catholic community in Columbia," Sister Kathleen Wegman, chancellor of the diocese, told ABC 17 News.

The diocese has said overcrowding is becoming a consistent problem in its Columbia schools. Columbia Catholic School currently has eight mobile units parked on property to handle the number of students enrolled.

Four additional listening sessions are planned at parishes across Columbia.  The next session is Tuesday night at Saint Thomas More Newman Center.

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