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Brooklyn high school preps to accept girls for first time in nearly 60 years

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BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) -- Xaverian is a tight community with a co-ed elementary school but an all-boys high school, forcing the girls in the neighborhood to find new options for continuing their education -- until now.

Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, will be changing come the fall of 2016, incorporating young girls into their student body.

“I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime. I thought it would happen one day,” school president Robert Alesi said.

The school has a 57-year history of brotherhood with notable alumni like actor Scott Baio and former NBA star Chris Mullin. It’s the tight bond among its students that some worry will disappear.

Catholic schools have been closing throughout the city due to declining enrollment and rising tuitions. But enrollment at Xaverian wasn’t an issue, with nearly 1,000 students. The change was about coming into the 21st century.

“The young women could add so much to our school and today is different,” Alesi said. “It’s different (than) 30, 40 years ago -- expectations are different.”

That includes creating new curriculum and the obvious changes of new girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms and an athletic program.

One eighth grader is interested in what the uniforms will look like, another said it will take some getting used to, but they’re ready.

“We’ll all get through it together,” a student sid. “And we all help eachother out.”

Perhaps another change: that morning routine to impress their new classmates.

The school’s president said he and the entire board voted in favor of co-education. The only negative side is that they won’t plan on increasing enrollment, just mixing, meaning it will become more selection to get into Xaverian, already one of the best college prep schools in the area.