De La Salle North Catholic High School will be housed in St. Charles Parish’s former elementary school, which closed in 1986.
De La Salle North Catholic High School will be housed in St. Charles Parish’s former elementary school, which closed in 1986.

De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland announced March 12 that it has signed an agreement with St. Charles Borromeo to relocate to the parish’s property, situated on the corner of Northeast 42nd Avenue and Killingsworth Street. The parish and school are negotiating the details of the lease and have signed a letter of intent for a 50-year lease with two 25-year extensions.

The St. Charles property includes a former parish grade school that was opened in 1950 and closed in 1986. The new campus will accommodate more than 350 students, “ensuring the school’s strong and transformative education will continue to change a growing number of students’ lives long into the future,” reads a press release from De La Salle.

Since it opened in 2001, De La Salle has rented its two locations. The lease on its current building, which formerly served as Kenton Elementary School and is owned by Portland Public Schools, expires in June 2021.

The school will be the first new Catholic high school campus in Portland in more than 50 years, according to the press release from De La Salle. A capital campaign will raise funds for renovations and additions to the new campus.

“After exploring more than 40 sites over the past three years, we are thrilled to have found a new and permanent home,” said Patti O’Mara, chairwoman of the high school’s board of trustees. “The first time I visited St. Charles Parish, I could envision our students filling the classrooms of this building. We are very grateful to establish this long-term partnership with St. Charles and to become a vital member of the Cully neighborhood.”

Leif Kehrwald, pastoral administrator of St. Charles, said the parish community will offer a “warm welcome” to De La Salle. “We have a dedicated, passionate group of parishioners and the extra space to accommodate this transformative school. We look forward to merging our communities,” he said.

The church will maintain its operations, including parish offices for staff members and the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank.

“Joining with De La Salle will be a real benefit to both our institutions and our community. I'm looking forward to it,” said Father Elwin Schwab, priest moderator at St. Charles.  

De La Salle President Oscar Leong said that the new site will serve as "a hub of opportunity for the youth of Portland as well as a place of ministry for St. Charles parishioners.”

Leong added that the school is celebrating the relocation news along with the victory of it boys basketball team earlier this month. The team was the 2019 Oregon School Activities Association 3A state champions.

DLSNC is currently accepting applications for the class of 2023. For more information, visit delasallenorth.org.