The Butler County Commissioners this morning voted to allow a $58.5 million loan for the construction of a Catholic high school in Cranberry Township.
The loan to the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will go through the county Industrial Development Authority.
The diocese wants the funding from the authority for the construction of its Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School, which will replace North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh’s Troy Hill heighborhood.
A hearing was held early this morning in the office of the IDA’s solicitor, Doug Linn. At the hearing, questions were raised about the religious nature of the school, how many jobs would be created and should a nonprofit get such as loan.
Linn said that the loan will be given to a 501C3 non-profit entity. The fact that it happens to be religious is “redundant.” He noted that other religious nonprofits such as the Lutheran Service Society have received similar funding in the past.
He said that the school would move 150 jobs from Allegheny County to Butler County, and it will add 50 more jobs.
Linn said that the purpose of the project is to create a new education facility, and that the jobs that are created are incidental.
He also pointed out that the county is not responsible in any way to pay for this loan.
The diocese already broke ground on the school, which will be built on 71 acres on Route 228. Construction is expected to take a year, and officials hope to have the school open in fall 2014.