St. John School in Hollywood to Relocate Temporarily to Holy Angels After Snow Destroys Building

February 12, 2010

The students of St. John School in Hollywood, Maryland, will attend classes in the former Holy Angels-Sacred Heart School in Avenue for the remainder of the school year. St. John’s roof collapsed in the February 6 snowstorm and the damage was so severe that the 1953 section of the building had to be taken down, according to Father Ray Schmidt, pastor. St. John’s serves 184 students in kindergarten to eighth grade.

“So many people reached out to us after the roof collapse,” said Mrs. Pat Suit, who is the principal of St. John School. “We are very grateful for their support and for their offers of space. Fr. Schmidt and I visited a number of locations and carefully evaluated each one. Holy Angels was a wonderful fit and has the space that will allow our school community to stay together, which was a priority for us,” she added.

Classes are expected to resume by Monday, February 22. Daily transportation will be provided from St. John School to Holy Angels. The school before and after care program will be held, as usual, in the St. John parish hall. Prior to the start of classes, computers, furniture and other supplies will be moved to Holy Angels. Over 95 percent of the furniture and computers were salvaged from the collapsed building.

“We were very happy to be able to help,” said Father Bill Gurnee, pastor of Holy Angels parish. “Many of our parishioners called me right after the accident to ask if we could invite St. John’s School to use our building. We look forward to having the kids and faculty here.”

Holy Angels-Sacred Heart School closed in June 2009 due to significant financial challenges and a low enrollment of 83 students.

Insurance will cover the replacement cost of rebuilding St. John School, meeting all current building codes. The original 1924 section of the building was not damaged.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
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