The Student News Site of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

One year later: What’s happening with OMC?

Maddi Bell
The Our Mother of Consolation school building, highlighting the main entrance and visible damage to the top floor.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 tested the resilience of the close-knit Our Mother of Consolation (OMC) community. At 3:45 pm, a teacher noticed the school roof go up in flames. Working with other staff members, she quickly got 35 after-care students to safety, and then called 911. The three-alarm fire caused the roof of the 108-year-old building to collapse, destroying all classrooms on the third floor. Fortunately, the church, parish office, and convent were spared, and no one was seriously hurt. Later investigation discovered the cause of the fire was an issue with the electrical wires. The K-8 students returned to online school for about three weeks, during which time Chestnut Hill College prepared a space for the displaced students to continue learning in person.

“I was really surprised,” said SCH freshman Maeve Carr-Lemke, OMC Class of ‘23, regarding the fire. “I think it was kind of inevitable because it was an old building, but it still really shocked me.”

Something most readers might not know is that the SCH community houses a small handful of former OMC students, all scattered among the lower, middle, and upper schools. One middle school student commented, “At OMC there was a sense of familiarity because we had all been in the same class for so long, which I miss. Being there really shaped who I am now. I felt really bad about the fire, but torn because my time there definitely wasn’t perfect. However, [OMC and SCH] both have really good teachers, who really care about the students.”

Plans for rebuilding the school include adding a new cafeteria, an elevator, and an air conditioning system. The rebuilding efforts have been going strongly, and the administration stated that the school building should be ready to move into come January 2025.

Elise Malizia, the school’s music director and church pianist, shared what she hopes to see from the rebuilding process: “I hope to see the arts shining again in our new school as they always have,” she explained.

OMC has provided one 160 years of education for many generations of students. The family-like community has come a long way since those early days, but their strength and resilience remain unwavering in the aftermath of the fire.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Campus Lantern

Your donation will support the student journalists of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Campus Lantern

Comments (0)

All The Campus Lantern Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *