Lead paint forces Bronzeville school to close just days before classes start

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CHICAGO – Just days before school starts, parents found out today that their school in Bronzeville is closing for at least this year. They are hoping this isn't the beginning of the end of the oldest African American Catholic School in Chicago.

St Elizabeth’s 200 students will have to move eight blocks away to Holy Angels Catholic School. School starts Monday.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Chicago says while doing much needed repairs at St. Elizabeth this summer, lead paint was exposed making the entire building unsafe. No one is allowed inside until the problem is solved. All the students and staff will move to Holy Angels, which had the room to spare.

St. Elizabeth was opened in 1885. In 1932, the first African American priest in Chicago, a former slave from Missouri, became pastor. There are many prominent Black graduates.

In early October, there will be more community discussion about the future of St. Elizabeth.

There is also a meeting at the church building tonight at 6:30.