The old Fairfax High School was officially sold for $3 million this week to the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, creating a fourth Roman Catholic high school for Northern Virginia.
While teachers are still being hired for the new school, named in honor of Pope Paul VI, a waiting line of students formed as soon as plans for it were announced last year.
When the school opens in September, it will have about 300 students, 220 freshmen and 80 sophomores, according to Ellen McCloskey, spokeswoman for the diocese. Paul VI is expected to accept about 250 new freshmen for the next several years, ultimately giving it a student body of at least 1,000 and making it the second largest Catholic high school after Bishop Denis J. O'Connell in Arlington, which has more than 1,500 students.
In Alexandria, Bishop Ireton High for boys has about 550 students and St. Mary's Academy for girls has about 370. All the high schools will have similar curriculums.
The school building, set on 16 acres on Lee Highway in the heart of Fairfax City, has more than 40 rooms and was used for eight years as the north campus of George Mason University, which sold the old high school to the diocese. Renovations to the 49-year-old school building--to add science labs and improve the heating system--will begin immediately, McCloskey said.
Father Donald Heet, an English and drama teacher at Bishop Ireton, was named principal of Paul VI earlier this spring.