Group works to create new school to replace closing Hallahan High School in Philadelphia

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ByGray Hall via WPVI logo
Friday, May 21, 2021
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There is a new push by the group to create a new school. It would be named after Hallahan's foundress, and be called Mary Hallahan McMichan Academy.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The announcement that John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School in Center City would close its doors at the end of this school year was devastating to generations of graduates.

But now, the spirit of that school may be saved as a group is working to create a new school.

The Friends of Hallahan are proving they have strong faith. Despite the news last year that the archdiocese was closing Hallahan at the end of the school year, the group has been determined to continue with the founder's legacy.

The new school would be named after Hallahan's foundress and be called Mary Hallahan McMichan Academy.

It would be a private institution that would continue the same goals of education, as Hallahan has done since 1911.

"This is fresh. This is new. This something that would be brand new to the city. There is not an independent, private all-girls school that is just for educating young women," said Hallahan parent Lauren Trimber.

Many parents, shocked by the announcement of the school's closure, are relieved that there is hope for a new school.

"We are excited to see what is going to happen, what it is going to look like, what it is going to offer and where it will be. It's like a kid on Christmas," said Trimber.

At this point, all the details are still being worked out, including the cost, location and opening date.

Nan Gallagher, a former principal at Hallahan and chairwoman for the new school, expects to release more details in the coming weeks.

"It is not a done deal, but I would say that there are many pieces actively moving forward in the charge to do this," said Gallahger.

Gallagher admits it's a monumental task but says she's confident Hallahan will continue to have a presence in the city.

"If not done for September, then maybe for January or maybe for September of 2022 but it doesn't end because we have some setbacks," said Gallagher.

The Friends of Hallahan expect to create a new website in the coming days with more information about its mission and how people can donate.