SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Rumors are swirling tonight about the future of two schools in Springfield.
One potentially closing – the other moving into their vacant building.
It’s been a tough few months for New Leadership Charter.
Not long ago, they learned the state was pulling their charter and they would be forced to close in June. Now, something else to worry about… rumors.
“I was hearing it from everywhere. I was in a restaurant and a lady said ‘Well my kid goes to this school and I hear Cathedral is coming here next year’.” Fearing reprisals, this person, close to New Leadership, wanted to remain anonymous, but confirmed there’s been unusual activity inside the school.
“Couple of Fridays ago they showed up, city of Springfield and some real estate people and there was just no warning. No nothing. They popped up and wanted to see the building.”
Tornado damage forced Cathedral to relocate to Wilbraham. With the future still uncertain about their former school on Surrey Road, the city approached the bishop about using the building now occupied by New Leadership.
“So both sides looked at it as a possible stop gap measure temporarily. Both sides agreed that it could not work,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Adding to the intrigue, last week New Leadership presented Springfield School Superintendent Daniel Warwick with a prospectus to keep their school open as a magnet – or innovation school.
He says he’s looking seriously at the proposal and if accepted, New Leadership could stay right where it is.
“The city rents that, leases that building from the diocese and that lease is still existing so we will have a place if in fact the innovation school proposal merits us bringing them on board as a city school,” said Warwick.
Warwick says he has a team in place and will have a decision in about 3 weeks.
Cathedral is still wrangling with their insurance company over what to do with the former school on Surrey Road.
The Catholic diocese would like it replaced with a new building, while the insurance company wants to repair the damage. An agreement is expected by May.