Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton announced yesterday that St. John Central High School in Bellaire will permanently close at the end of the 2018-2019 school year in June.

Over the last ten years, the school has struggled to keep a viable enrollment, making it increasingly difficult to support itself financially.

The high school’s enrollment figures for the current school year were reported to be 43 students in October 2018.

In addition, new financial challenges involving emergency repairs to the building’s heating system have emerged with estimates costing as much as $500,000.

The financial assets that were used to help subsidize the high school budget over the last three years are almost expended. In addition, almost 25% of the high school budget is subsidized by local Catholic Church support.