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Parents hear details about possible CBA-La Salle merger

Most of the comments of those who spoke at the meeting reflected what traditions and values could be lost when and if the two schools become one. A senior at La Salle said, "Both schools would lose their identities."

Class of 2007 CBA graduate Jeff Sidoti told the crowd that he thought the idea of merging was "a positive thing."

"We're not losing our history, we're making it," said Sidoti.

The two schools have much in common, including their all-male enrollment and Lasallian traditions.

Board directors reminded the crowd on Wednesday that no formal decision has been made regarding the merger, but a subcommittee made up of four representatives from La Salle and four from CBA has 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.

Some parents said they were angered that the schools have been talking about merging for a year without presenting their discussions to the public sooner.

"The 'C' [in CBA] does not stand, apparently, for communication," said Tom McCormick, a parent who told the boards that as a business owner, if he saw his business failing he would, "get up and do something about it."

McCormick said that it seems the schools are set on merging, and not merely just considering it.

"I think it's disingenuous to say, 'We're still thinking about it,'" said McCormick.

O'Hearn told the parents that the discussions about merging are not solely based on the declining enrollment at the schools, which has lead to the decline in revenue, although that is a major factor and "we can't just do nothing."

During the conclusion of the presentation, the auditors said that their research shows that either school would be fit to handle the addition of the other school's students in the event of the merger.

Board directors also said that if a merger does happen, tuition, which currently stands at an average of about $10,500 for both schools, could see an increase.

The board will continue to hold town hall-style meetings to gather input from the parents and, according to CBA Principal James Schlegel, will most likely make their decision during the school year after surveying parents to see what they think.

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