PARMA, Ohio (WJW) — Saint Bridget of Kildare School in Parma is closing on Friday.
The Pre-K through Grade 8 school has been a home to thousands and thousands of children for more than 60 years. It’s a Parma landmark with a deep tradition of shaping the paths of many children.
“I feel sad for a lot of the students who are going to miss all their friends. I feel sad for the faculty and parents who understand the reasons why the school is closing, because this is a big chunk of the memories that they’ve had,” said Matt Falk, who will be the school’s last principal.
Saint Bridget of Kildare has always been an old-style parish school with children from the neighborhood coming to see teachers and staff who have worked here for generations.
In fact, many teachers have taught every child in a family and their parents too.
But times have changed. A school that was built for well over 500 children only has 145 in all grades. The last graduating class of eighth graders is only nine students.
The students will scatter next year, with many continuing with Catholic education.
“They understood where everything was going and why this needed to happen, but people are still sad because they are losing a big part of their lives and there are a lot of good memories wrapped up in this building and in this community,” Falk said.
They also believe that the Saint Bridget of Kildare community that has been created over many generations will continue on — not in the building but in their hearts.
“There have been families here who, for many years — there are kids who are going here whose parents went here and, in some cases, grandparents graduated from here. It’s very much a family who’s grown over the years,” added Falk.
The Saint Bridget of Kildare Church right next door is going strong and will continue to serve the community. The old school building may be converted for church activities soon.