NEW ORLEANS — St. Peter Claver School is closing at the end of this school year after nearly 100 years.

The announcement comes from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, who says the school was struggling with a budget deficit, low enrollment and failing test scores.

Many people in Treme  say St. Peter Claver is the heart of the neighborhood.

“It’s sad,” Dejuana Downiaj, a parent said.  “I wish we could do something to help it stay alive.”

St. Peter Claver opened in 1921. The school was dedicated to making sure black children excelled in mathematics, science and communication skills. The home of the green and gold opened its doors when segregation was still legal. It would be decades later until Brown vs. Board of Education and the civil rights movement. This is why the school is so important to so many.

“It means that my neighborhood is losing an institution. It means that a lot of the history of New Orleans and the Treme community in particular is going away and it's breaking my heart,” Nelson Herbert, a Treme resident said.

A pillar in a neighborhood rich in culture, St. Peter Claver will close its doors for good when the last bell rings this year.