Two and a half years after the closure of the St. Anthony Catholic School, a town hall meeting will be held to discuss future options for the nearly century-old building. The meeting is open to parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, as well as the full community, and is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 in the Padua Center.
The meeting is being called after a church Ad Hoc Committee, chaired by Rick Harter, was tasked with investigating viable options starting in May. The committee is expected to share its findings and take feedback at the meeting.
After closing the school on June 2, 2017, Father Shaji Pazhukkathara said he has been asked constantly from parishioners what the future plan is for the school building.
“Most of them shared also their fond memories of St. Anthony School,” said Pazhukkathara in a press release. “Memories like the wonderful school lunches, the closeness of the parents and students to the teachers, welcome participation of parents in the classrooms, the great quality of education including teaching faith and attending Mass as part of the school day, and up to four generations of families attending the school.”
In addition to providing 95 years of Catholic education to Price County and the neighboring communities, the building has also served several other community events. In recent years that has included Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners, the Flambeau 40 bike race and time trial, bingo, smorgasbords with up to 500 people served, spaghetti dinners, and a registration site for the Evergreen races, Turkey Trot, Tuscobia Winter Ultra and so on. Some of these events still take place at the school building.
“It will be an opportunity to share the findings of the Ad Hoc Committee and to listen to feedback and/or different ideas for St. Anthony of Padua School,” said Pazhukkathara. “We want to be open to viable possibilities as we move forward in making our decision of what the future will hold for our St. Anthony of Padua School building.”