A crowd of over a hundred parents with mixed emotions filled the gymnasium of Christian Brothers Academy Wednesday night (Aug. 5) to hear leaders of CBA and La Salle Institute's board of directors present an audit that examined what it would be like to merge the two schools item by item.
The audit covered physical size of the school, population of males who might attend the schools based on location, and what was referred to as \intangibles, which covered things some students would lose in the event of a merger, including their alma mater, favorite school teacher or favorite coach.
The auditors also explained to parents that while conducting their research, they considered three options: merging the schools to La Salle and closing and selling CBA; merging the schools to CBA and closing and selling La Salle; or closing and selling both schools and constructing a new school that would umbrella both La Salle and CBA students. The third option, auditors said, would cost about $25 million and is simply not financially feasible for either institution.
What seemed to be the theme of all of the comments of all of those who spoke at the meeting was the consideration of what traditions and values could be lost when and if the two schools become one. As one young man, a senior at La Salle, said, addressing the boards, "Both schools would lose their identities."
A 2007 CBA graduate told the crowd that he thought the idea of merging was "a positive thing," and that, "We're not losing our history-we're making it."
The two schools do have much in common, including their all-male enrollment and Lasallian traditions.
Board directors repeatedly reminded the crowd that no formal decision has been made yet to either merge or not merge the two schools, but that a subcommittee made up of four representatives from La Salle and four from CBA have been meeting monthly for a year to look into the possibility of merging after they initially got together to discuss ways each school could save money by sharing services such as lawn care and cafeteria food.