2/15/2014 8:16:00 AM Bosco High purchases building
Gervais School District photo
St. John Bosco High School has purchased the Eldriedge School from the Gervais School District.
SALEM — St. John Bosco High School has purchased eight acres with an unused elementary school building north of Keizer.
The independent school, named after the patron saint of youth, has been in several places since it was founded by parents in 1999 as Marian Latin School.
“The most significant benefits of the recent school building purchase are security and stability," says Charles Catterall who teaches at the school. "Now we know we have a place. We know where we will be and can just focus on the formation of students.” The address of the former Eldriedge School, previously owned by the Gervais School District, is 10327 River Rd. NE, in Salem. It is about five minutes from Exit 263 off Interstate 5 and has what officials call a "country feel."
When the Gervais School District put buildings up for sale and Bosco received funds to buy a permanent location, matters seemed aligned. The annual mortgage payment is less than what the school was paying for rent and that rent looked as though it would keep rising because it was pegged to enrollment, which has increased.
"This became a disincentive for growth in many ways,” says Kevin Brophy, a board member and parent of two students.
The new location is within reach of Salem-Keizer, Wilsonville, McMinnville, Newberg, Silverton, Mount Angel and Woodburn. It's a place where students can walk down the long driveway after school to visit Jones’ Farm Produce fruit and ice cream stand.
This site was chosen over other options because it includes a large room suited to serve as a chapel.
"Saint John Bosco High School wanted a chapel at the heart of the school," says Brophy, adding that school has more space and is in good condition.
“It is our hope that Saint John Bosco high school will continue to educate not only students, but the greater community as well," Brophy says. "We hope that Saint John Bosco High School will become an instrumental part of the new evangelization.”
The L-shaped building was built in 1980. The Gervais District listed its value at$844,000. “It is exciting to be in this new location," said Barbara Hettwer, the school’s principal. "I’m looking forward to seeing how God uses this site to be a blessing to our students and the community.”