Girard College delays plan to suspend high school, residential living

girard college
Girard College.
Credit: Wikipedia / Bruce Andersen

The temporary suspension of Girard College’s high school and residential living programs has been delayed.

The Board of Directors of City Trusts on Monday approved a one-year postponement in the scaling back of operations at the historic institution, which has since 1848 operated as a free boarding school in North Philadelphia for low-income children from single-parent families.

The Board earlier this year approved a plan to by September 2014 temporarily scale back Girard to an extended day, non-residential school for grades 1 through 8.

Claiming financial challenges were threatening to permanently close Girard College, the Board cited pressing infrastructure issues, including a projected $111 million needed in long-term renovations to extend the life of the aging campus buildings.

They further pointed out the Girard Residuary Fund trust that subsidizes the school’s operations lost nearly a third of its value during the economic recession.

The Board said the suspension of Girard’s high school and residential programs would allow time for the trust to grow back to full financial health.

But the Orphans’ Court of Philadelphia still must approve those proposed changes.

In light of the ongoing court proceedings, the Board decided to delay the plan’s implementation until September 2015 in order to ease uncertainties, according to a release.

“We respect the right of the Orphans’ Court to take the time it needs to consider the petition and the temporary changes that the Board has proposed,” Board president Ronald Donatucci said in a statement.

“But while that process continues, it inevitably creates a sense of uncertainty and tension about the future for our students, their families, and our faculty and staff.

“They remain our highest priority as we move forward. The Board felt an obligation to address these uncertainties by delaying the implementation of the proposed change for one year.

“Our decision is to extend the school in its current format – as a grades 1-12 boarding school – to provide additional time for an informed decision about the future of Girard College.”

The decision also includes a provision allowing Girard’s current sophomores, who will graduate in 2016, to remain enrolled in an extended-day, non-residential program during the 2015 through 2016 school year so they can earn a Girard diploma.

“We greatly appreciate the Board’s decision because it will help to ease the concerns of our students, families and our colleagues,” Girard President Clarence D. Armbrister said in a statement.

“While we await the decision of the Court, there is no question that this is the right thing for all of us in the Girard Family.”

The Board again stressed the proposed reforms now slated for 2015 are temporary.

“That objective has not changed at all,” Donatucci said.

“The Board is committed to keeping Girard College open and in operation on its historic campus, and that it will grow back as a grades 1-12 boarding school at some point in the future, as soon as the Estate’s finances allow it.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Local

Reports: Dead man pulled from water at Boston's…

A dead man was reportedly pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon, according to the Boston Fire Department.

Local

Primark to make US debut in Boston

Dublin retailer Primark will make its U.S. debut with a store at the former Filene's site in Boston.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."