Efforts Underway to Find New Use for Closing Catholic Schools

June 20, 2014 Updated Jun 21, 2014 at 10:54 AM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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June 20, 2014 Updated Jun 21, 2014 at 10:54 AM EDT

Amherst, N.Y. (WKBW) The announcement by the Diocese of Buffalo in January that ten Catholic elementary schools would be closed created a lot of sadness and anxiety in the affected parishes.

While efforts continue to appeal the closing order by supporters of St. Francis of Assisi school in Tonawanda, other closing schools are working to find new uses for the former elementary school buildings.

St. Bernadette School in Orchard Park plans to convert the school into an early childhood center.

St. Leo the Great School in Amherst, which had one of the largest campuses among the closing schools, will re-open this fall as "Little Learners Academy" offering expanded pre-k and after school programs for middle and high school students.

St. Leo's is also looking to use its 66-room school building to offer more community programs, including new adult education classes and senior day care.

On Saturday June 21st, St. Leo's is holding a special alumni reunion for all past students and teachers.

It gets underway with a mass starting at 4:30pm.

Watch Ed Reilly's story for more information.