The 48-acre parcel, shaped like a smoker’s pipe, once was viewed as a solution to a rapidly expanding Catholic-school population. Not so long ago, it may have been a coveted site for homebuilders.
The archdiocese bought the land in 1964 in anticipation of growth such as a school or parish, according to a news release from Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., in charge of the sale. But, almost 50 years later, the archdiocesan school population is contracting, not growing.
The sale would help reduce the archdiocese’s budget deficit, which results in parts from lawsuits, investment losses, and bad loans to some parishes. Church attendance and Catholic-school enrollment also have fallen, leading the archdiocese to merge parishes and close schools.