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Mayor Says Church Leader Broke Promise To Rebuild Tornado Damaged School

WAMC

There is frustration and anger over a delay in rebuilding the only Catholic high school in Springfield, Massachusetts that was destroyed in the 2011 tornado.

   Parents and alumnae of Cathedral High School said they were blindsided by Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski’s call for more study to help him make a decision on the school’s future.  Mayor Domenic Sarno said Rozanski had reneged on a pledge made by his now retired predecessor to rebuild the high school in the same neighborhood where it had stood since 1959

   " We had a deal," said Sarno.  " We had a deal with Bishop ( Timothy) McDonnell, and I would hope they would respect that deal and get the job done and get Cathedral built, ASAP, no questions asked."

  Congressman Richard Neal, who helped secure FEMA money to rebuild the school, said he was dismayed by the turn of events.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.