OLEAN, NY – Archbishop Walsh Academy announced Wednesday that an agreement has been reached for the building and grounds of the school to be sold to the Walsh Foundation. This would remove the Diocese of Buffalo as the landlord of the school and is anticipated to be the first step toward the long term preservation of Archbishop Walsh High School and Southern Tier Catholic School. Archbishop Walsh Academy is expected to be able to undertake greater fundraising, capital improvements and new programming as a result of this ownership change
“This is a new model in Catholic education,” stated Walsh Board President Paula Snyder. “The Walsh Foundation and the faculty, staff and Board of Archbishop Walsh are committed to the long-term preservation of Catholic secondary education in the Southern Tier. Enabling Archbishop Walsh to control its own destiny was the best way to keep the school vibrant.
"Walsh has so much going for it – dedicated teacher and support staff, the International Baccalaureate curriculum, and a commitment to educating students from the rural Southern Tier and all over the world," she continued. "Control of the physical campus by the school will allow the capital fundraising necessary to support and grow the possibilities for the school's future. It is not an exaggeration to say this change is a major step to ensure the school is here for years to come. It has enabled us to put the financial commitments in place allowing us to begin exciting innovations such as a greater focus on international student education.”
Diocese of Buffalo Superintendent of the Schools Dr. Michael LaFever also praised the new arrangement. “I have always been committed to Catholic education and the benefits it gives our young people," he said. "It gives me great joy that we were able to agree to an ownership model that makes sure this school, which has been a model institution, is preserved as a Catholic educational option in the Southern Tier. We are truly excited about our school and the ever-increasing role it will play in helping mold today’s youth into the productive, responsible, highly educated people who will lead our community in the future.”
Walsh expects to be able to more aggressively pursue increased boarding of students from international areas, additions to school infrastructure and other initiatives as a result of this change.