Catholic Central High School in Troy and St. Ambrose in Latham are merging to create a K through 12th grade school, said the Albany Diocesan School Board in a statement.
The new Catholic school, called Catholic Central School, will be located on the 19-acre St. Ambrose school and parish complex off of Route 9 in Latham. It will open its doors in September, 2022, but full implementation will be phased in over the next few years.
“Catholic education is central to our mission and to our identity as a diocese,” said Albany Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger. “Catholic Central School is a shining example of what we can do when we think outside the box and create a vision for something new, something necessary, something that offers incredible possibilities for local Catholic students and their families.”
The architectural design is still being finalized but the plan is to “renovate and build upon” the existing 20,500-square-foot St. Ambrose School building which has 18 classrooms, a laboratory and gymnasium. Three distinct age groups — pre-K and kindergarten, grades one through five and grades six through 12 — will be separated and “when needed, allow for purposeful interaction and mentoring opportunities.”
“The landscape of our Diocese has changed and so should Catholic education,” said Superintendent of Schools Giovanni Virgiglio. “This regional concept is an educational model we have studied, imagined and hoped to pursue when the time and place was right. This is our moment to put our students at the leading edge of Catholic education.”
Catholic Central High School was founded in 1923 by Bishop Edmund Gibbons. It had 520 students the first year and doubled to 1,046 the second. It now has about 300 students in grades six through 12 per year. It is not clear what the diocese will do with the school once the transition is complete.
St. Ambrose Church was founded in 1924 and moved to its current home at 347 Old Loudon Road in 1956. The school was founded a year later by the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It currently has about 200 students in grades K through six.
“As CCHS approaches its 100th anniversary in 2023, we wanted to take action that will guide us into our second century,” said Nate Maloney, chairman of the Catholic Central High School Board of Trustees. “We are excited by the endless options Catholic Central School will provide to our students and how it dovetails with our shared vision for the future of Catholic education.”
“The concept of the parish as the heart of Catholic Central School is important for many families seeking to anchor their child’s education in a faith-filled environment,” explained Rev. Brian Kelly, pastor of St. Ambrose Church. “Being located at St. Ambrose Catholic Church will open up new opportunities for students to participate in youth ministry and afternoon activities.”
For more information, or to reserve a spot for the 2022-223 school year, please call St. Ambrose School at (518) 785-6453 or Catholic Central High School at (518) 235-7100. A dedicated Catholic Central School website will be launched in the coming weeks featuring frequently asked questions, videos and other important details.