GREEN BAY – Since 2008, the St. Joseph Parish's school's second floor hallways and classrooms have sat vacant, except for some religious education classes.
But the building could soon be home to a full-time K-8 school, scheduled to open by fall of next year.
"We have not verified that location,” said Green Bay Area Catholic Education system president Rev. Dane Radecki, “but we are beginning negotiations with the parish."
Green Bay Area Catholic Education – or GRACE – doesn't have a location locked down or a name, yet. But Radecki says the curriculum will make the school unique to the area.
It will focus on creative writing, Latin, modern language, and Greek and Roman histories – commonly called a Catholic Classical curriculum.
"The goal is to develop complete thinkers, who have to draw on faith and reason - together - for the purpose of building up the church and society," said Green Bay Diocese Bishop David Ricken of the curriculum.
There are two other Catholic classical schools in the state.
Radecki says some parents came up with the idea for the school about two years ago. GRACE already operates 10 schools in the area; this school will be number 11. Radecki says it’s not intended to compete with other schools in the area.
"This came from the people," said Radecki.
Surveys of parents have shown enough support for about 140 students, initially, in the school. Radecki says he doesn't expect there to be any issues of students coming from other schools within the GRACE system.
"I've had some parents contact me, but I wouldn't say it's a flood gate," said Radecki of the possible student shift.
Radecki says tuition will be the same as other GRACE schools – $2,400 for a parish member student, $4,400 for a non-parish member. Grants and financial aid will be available. When the school opens, it will not be part of the state's school voucher program, but Radecki says that could change in the future.
"There's no guarantee of success, until we get our feet on the ground," said Radecki.
Radecki hopes to have enrollment processes, a school name and leader finalized by the fall.