Parents are appealing the Edmonton Catholic School District Wednesday night to keep open a facility in Capilano that was on the chopping block once before.

Parents were informed last month that St. Gabriel’s enrolment was too low to make its operation viable any longer. The student body—now numbered at 132—has grown smaller over the last three years, dropping from 141 in 2018 and 144 in 2017.

But one father believes closing the site would fracture the community and its future.

“When this community grows, there's a school right here. Why do we want to close the school?” John Hanley asked.

“Why would we make parents choose to either exit the Catholic system or go to the next local school when we can have a strong Catholic elementary school here?"

St. Gabriel faced closure in 2014, only surviving via trustee vote and consultation process that was spurred by community concerns.

Trustees will vote on Mar. 19.

St. Gabriel, in the meantime, is hoping to increase its enrolment by applying for an International Baccalaureate accreditation. The IB program is similar to an honours program and is only offered at a few Edmonton Catholic schools.

With files from Dan Grummett