It's located along Buckeystown Pike.
The students at St. John's Catholic Prep are starting classes on Monday morning at a new location. After more than 50 years at Prospect Hall off of Butterfly Lane in Frederick, the school has relocated to a new site at 3989 Buckeystown Pike, next to the town's post office.
School President Gordon Oliver says it was not easy to say goodbye to the old location. "Prospect Hall was a wonderful campus, but it couldn't meet our future needs," he says.
Oliver says the new location is 40,000 square feet, "which is a little bit smaller than Prospect Hall but only in the sense that we had all the outbuildings at Prospect Hall. We're a lot more efficient here."
But Oliver says this new site allows St. John's Catholic Prep the opportunity to expand. "We already have plans drawn up for that. We can add a wing, a single level, or a two-level wing, off the back at some point," he says. "Our goal is to get up to 500 students." The current enrollment stands at 263.
The new location is the former site of St. Thomas More Academy, a Catholic elementary school which has relocated to the former Middletown Primary School at 103 Prospect Street in Middletown. Oliver says some changes had to be made to make the building on Buckeystown Pike into a high school. "We had to add biology, chemistry and physics classrooms," which were kindergarten classrooms. "We had to re-purpose the whole building to make it appropriate for high school academic programs," says Oliver.
He also says the school has a larger gymnasium. "We have a full competition-size basketball court, and we have two half-courts in the gymnasium," Oliver says. "We'll be able to have two practices going simultaneously. And we'll able to accommodate more fans and spectators then we were able to do at the Prospect Hall campus."
During a recent tour of the new location, the gym had not yet been completed.
With the fact that St. John's Catholic Prep has more space to expand, Oliver says that means it can accommodate more students. "We've got room for anybody that would like to come. We have a robust financial aid program," he says. "Our Director of Admissions, Michael Schultz, is always ready to take the names of people, give them a tour and give them an admissions packet."
And you don't have to be Catholic to attend. "We have people of many faiths here. About 70% of our population is Catholic. The rest are various other denominations. So we welcome people of other faiths," says Oliver.
But, he notes, that any student who attends, regardless of faith, must participate in morning prayers, take Catholic theology classes, and attend mass each month.