The new St. Thomas More Academy is signaling a new option in Catholic education. A 5,000-square-foot area will be part of a four-room high school for grades nine through 12.
The founders of this school, though, are aware that the school is launching at a time the Catholic Church is reeling from the child sex abuse scandal. In the last two weeks, two Catholic priests in North Carolina have been relieved of their duties.
Academy co-founder Susie Farrell said they are not worried about enrollment.
"We haven't had any effects at all from it, and I think that the Catholic Church and our bishop has been very good and honest and forthright about dealing with it," she said.
Even before the school is complete, about 18 students are already registered and with an initial enrollment of just 50 students, some families attending Monday's open house could be placed on a waiting list, but they said it would be worth the wait.
"I think the people here are so determined, especially because of what happened, to make this school what they want the Catholic Church to be," parent Kathryn Estrada said.
The new St. Thomas More Academy is located in the 8000 block of Falls of Neuse Road. Officials hope to expand the school in a couple of years to the Louisburg area with a maximum enrollment of 500 students.