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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville's Holy Family School will close its doors for good at the end of this school year.
Alumni and parents say people inside the school form a tight community, but church officials say a shrinking student body and financial strains meant they just couldn't keep it open.
"We hate to see 90 years of tradition come to an end," Jackie Bourke said.
Holy Family School is pretty much a part Bourke's life. Both she and her husband attended, as well as their kids, and now she's a school volunteer and parish member.
"Anytime this happens, it's heartbreaking."
The school was founded in 1923 and has a lot of history for families like Bourke's. But with only 129 students in classes right now and a $200,000 loss by the end of the school year, it has to close.
"Unfortunately, the declining enrollment and the increasing costs made it very difficult to continue offering an academically excellent program," said Leisa Schulz, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Louisville.
Faculty found out Friday and parents received letters over the weekend. While church officials say the school has struggled for several years, some say the notification was abrupt.
"We're devastated as a community," said Jena Martin, whose daughter attends Holy Family.
"We feel blind sided. We didn't see this coming, we feel we weren't given the opportunity to save the school."
Martin says even though this is her daughter's final year at Holy Family, knowing it won't be around after graduation is still hard.
"She's just devastated, this was home to her," she said.
"We had a response team that went out this morning to meet with students and to meet with faculty and staff to offer support because it is a very hard decision," Schulz said.
Church officials say all the students can attend nearby St. Stephen Martyr School or get assistance choosing another Catholic School in Louisville. But those who grew up with Holy Family say it will never be the same.
"You're not going to be able to re-create what holy family school was," Bourke said.
Schulz says school faculty will also receive help in finding positions at other Catholic schools in Louisville. Holy Family's pre-school will remain open.