Uncertain future for site of closed Cardinal Gibbons School

The Cardinal Gibbons School is the alma mater of professional athletes, politicians and high-ranking military officers.

But since the outcry by parents, students and alumni over its closure at the end of the 2010 academic year, the facility has quietly gathered dust.

And it will likely stay unused for at least another year, according to Sean Caine, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

"There are no plans for the property and nothing specific is being considered," Caine wrote in an email. "We are in the process of evaluating potential uses of the property, a process we expect will continue for at least another year."

On June 15, many students in what would have been the Class of 2011 from Cardinal Gibbons participated in a ceremony at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where they received awards and were recognized as part of the school's alumni association.

Jay Dillow, a member of Gibbons Educational Services, which organized the event, said the nonprofit chose UMBC after being informed that they could not use the school at the intersection of Caton and Wilkens avenues.

"The Archdiocese didn't allow us to have it at Cardinal Gibbons," Dillow said.

"We had made a request to do it either indoors or outdoors and we were informed that the property was in the process of being decommissioned," he said.

Caine confirmed that all the buildings on the property other than the gymnasium are being decommissioned, which involves disconnecting the water and the electricity.

The gymnasium remains operational for use by Seton Keough High School, the all-girls Catholic high school on Caton Avenue, and Holy Angels Catholic School, a Catholic elementary school that opened last fall on the Seton Keough campus, about a half mile from the Gibbons campus.

Caine said he was not part of the conversations about the use of the facility for last week's ceremony for those who would have graduated from Gibbons and said he doesn't know if the use of the gymnasium was discussed or if scheduling problems precluded its use.

"Our overarching concern is about the safety of people on campus," Caine wrote. "It just isn't practical to try and make the buildings available for use when we are trying to decommission them."

Caine noted that the archdiocese did grant permission for the school's alumni to use the gymnasium for an alumni basketball game in April.

"We understand and respect the importance and memories the school facilities hold for former students of Cardinal Gibbons," Caine wrote. "The archdiocese remains committed to promoting the Cardinal Gibbons name and the school's rich history and legacy."

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