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Katie Moore / Eyewitness News
Email: kmoore@wwltv.com | Twitter: @katiecmoore

NEW ORLEANS -- The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament shocked the community in February with the announcement that Xavier Preparatory High School, an Uptown high school for African-American girls, would be shutting its doors.

At that point, a group of alumnae from the school began a major fundraising push to try and keep the school open. Their solution: buy it from the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrement.

Monday, they announced an agreement to buy the school had been reached.

Afternoons at Tee-Eva's pralines and pies are entertaining for owner Keonna Thornton.

'The girls come in. We have about 30 of them that come in and get snowballs,' Thornton said.

The girls are from Xavier Prep across Magazine Street. Hornton went to school there for a year and said she donated to help the group of alumni trying to save the school.

'We have an agreement in principle to purchase the property from the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. We expect that agreement to be signed later today, no later than tomorrow and we expect to go to closing within 30 days,' said Dale Atkins, one of the corporation's founding members.

According to Atkins, First NBC bank is financing the deal for an undisclosed amount of money. Atkins said she's confident in the new school's ability to stay afloat financially.

'We will be a new, independent Catholic school that is supported by the Archdiocese,' she said.

Atkins said the alumni group created 5116 Magazine St. Preparatory High School as a corporation, but a separate board of education and community leaders will oversee the school.

'We are in the process of putting together a faculty and administration that will be familiar to the parents and students of Xavier Prep,' she said.

Atkins said the goal is to make it the premier school for girls in New Orleans and supporters couldn't be happier about it.

Officials announced the new school will be called St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory High School. School colors and the yellow jacket mascot will remain the same.

This article was published with the help of our friends at The Uptown Messenger

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