FORT SMITH (KFSM) – A Catholic high school is coming to Fort Smith, but its location and cost are unknown, due to developing plans.
The proposed name for the institution is Trinity Catholic High School.
School board president Dan Smith said about 1,000 students are enrolled in Catholic schools in Fort Smith.
“Parents have invested in the Catholic education in grades kindergarten through 9th grade, and then it just stops,” Smith said. “They would like to be able to continue that all the way through 12th grade.”
Smith said there are 15 people on the board, and they have been working toward bringing the high school to Fort Smith since March of 2015.
“I think there's always been a need for a Catholic high school in Fort Smith,” Mike Hill, a parent and member of the board, said. “I have a first grader at Immaculate Conception, and my older daughter is a seventh grader at Trinity Junior High.”
Smith said plans for a Catholic high school in Northwest Arkansas are different because it will be independent. He said Trinity Catholic High School recently received approval from the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock.
Now, the board is moving forward to make the high school a reality.
“We have a lot of unknown variables such as location, staffing, fundraising,” Smith said. “The fundraising campaign, when we start that, it will determine how quickly we can move forward as well."
Even though there is still a lot of work to be done, Hill said he hopes the school will be ready in time for his daughter to attend.
"That's the goal that I’m working hard on,” he said. “I mean obviously for my daughter in seventh grade, I would love for her to be able to attend the 10th grade year at Trinity High School."
The nearest option for a Catholic high school in the River Valley is Subiaco Academy, an all-boys school.