Teams to Practice Up on the Mount

Some of Wheeling Central Catholic High School’s athletic teams will soon practice on the grounds of the former Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy, according to the property’s owner, Wheeling Hospital.

The hospital and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston have arranged for the school’s soccer and lacrosse teams to practice on fields near the site of the now-demolished school, hospital spokesman Gregg Warren announced Wednesday.

It is the second announcement this year of new facilities for Wheeling Central teams.

The school owns only a gymnasium a couple blocks away from its main building in terms of athletic venues.

In January, Wheeling Central Athletic Director and head football coach Mike Young said the school’s football team likely will use Wheeling Jesuit University’s James LaRosa field beginning this fall as the university looks to make about $2 million worth of improvements to its athletic facilities.

The Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy closed in May 2008, succumbing to declining enrollment and rising costs. The last three members of the Sisters of the Visitation, which operated the school, to live on the property moved to Washington, D.C., in 2010.

Wheeling Hospital purchased the grounds for about $4 million in August 2011, and began tearing down the historic school building – erected in 1865 – in November of that year.

The hospital, owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, has yet to announce any specific plans for the property.