CHICAGO — Portage Park's Our Lady of Victory School will officially remain open next school year after it was slated for closure by the Archdiocese of Chicago last month, a school official confirmed.
"We're elated. I did say from the very beginning that we were going to have a miracle," said Mary Beth Frystak, the church's director of religious education, on Tuesday night. "Everybody came together to make it happen."
The Northwest Side Catholic school, 4434 N. Laramie Ave., was one of six in the Chicago area facing closure come fall unless they found alternative financing within a matter of weeks.
Our Lady of Victory raised $750,000 within the course of two weeks, earning a reprieve from the Archdiocese, but still needed to raise more to guarantee that it would stay open.
Frystak said the school had already raised $800,000, but "a lot more is coming." The school has a number of fundraisers planned, including a visit to the school from comedian Tom Dreesen, who used to open for Frank Sinatra, in September.
Frystak expects registration to increase even more, giving those students who are registered early $500 off of their $5,000 yearly tuition thanks to a matching donation.
"I thought they were mistaken," Frystak said about being told by the Archdiocese that the school would have to close. Though enrollment had dropped in recent years to a low of 100 in the 2011-2012 school year, it rose to 171 this year.
"I don't think they [the Archdiocese] realized the unity of the people here," Frystak said. "They didn't want to lose those memories."