Remaining Contents of Former School to be Made Available

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BRADFORD, Pa. – The remaining contents of the former Bradford Central Christian High/St. Bernard Elementary school will be given away at an event from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, and Friday, Oct. 1, at the former school at 450 West Washington St. in Bradford.

Available items include desks and chairs for teachers, elementary and high school children, book shelves and filing cabinets. All items must be removed during the event by the person claiming them. Patrons assume all risk involved in removal of items and must wear face coverings while inside the building.

The event is being held by Pitt-Bradford, which purchased the building last year, in conjunction with the BCCHS Alumni Association.

Kristen Tate Luther of the BCCHS Alumni Association said that trophies, trophy cases, yearbooks, and other historical and sentimental items have already been removed with the goal of creating a museum to showcase the school.

The alumni group is also planning a final Mass at 4 p.m. Oct. 9 with the Rev. Leo Gallina, former pastor of St. Bernard Church, as celebrant. Bleacher seating will be available, or those attending may bring their own chairs. Prior to the Mass, tours of the first floor will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Reservations for the Mass are requested and can be made by contacting [email protected].

BCCHS opened in the fall of 1962. It was one of five regional Catholic High Schools built between 1960 and 1965. The others were Elk County Christian, Venango County Christian, Kennedy Christian High School and DuBois Christian.

In 2000, the school closed as a high school and became the new home of St. Bernard Elementary School.

The university purchased the former school last year from Goldenwest Group LLC to accommodate future expansion and development of athletic and recreation facilities.

The opportunity to purchase the property arose when Goldenwest, which had planned to develop the 6-acre property as an events center and business incubator, decided to sell the parcel instead. The university plans to demolish the former school after having previously evaluated its viability for use as an academic building.

In 2018, the university considered buying the property from St. Bernard Parish in order to use the former school building for STEM-related academic programs.

The university hired Pittsburgh architectural MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni to conduct a feasibility study for the renovation of the St. Bernard School Building. According to that study, the total estimated cost to renovate St. Bernard School to meet the university’s program needs as well as all building code requirements would exceed $34.1 million. The estimated cost to construct a new building on campus would be $22.2 million.

The engineering and information technologies building is currently under construction near Hanley Library.

In April, the university made the former school available as a site for community COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

Pitt-Bradford is also raising money toward a Bradford Central Christian/St. Bernard Legacy Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for Pitt-Bradford students in need and honor the schools’ legacies.

To make a tax-deductible gift to the fund, contact the Pitt-Bradford Office of Philanthropic and Alumni Engagement at 814-362-5091 or www.givetoUPB.org.