SAN FRANCISCO - At Archbishop Riordan High School, major changes are coming. The last of the all-male Catholic high schools in San Francisco is going coed this fall.
"The Riordan legacy is going to live well into the future because of this," says Riordan President Andrew Currier.
The decision to break with the 71 year-old all-male tradition comes weeks after all-female Catholic school Mercy High announced it was closing for good this year.
School officials say the reason for going co-ed is due to declining enrollment.
Mercy students can now apply to Riordan for next year, which should help bolster Riordan's financial health.
Riordan once had 1,000 students. Now the enrollment is 660.
The decision to allow girls into Riordan was announced after the school's board of trustees voted14-4 in favor this week. It's a decision fraught with emotion.
"If you have girls and boys you get kind of lost and confused," said alumnus Jerry Bruno.
While males and females may be under one roof at Riordan, the school plans to separate them in core classes such as math, English and science.
"It does strengthen our school to have the other 50% of the population open to applying. It is a different environment with girls in the class. It does get rowdy with boys," says student body president Michael Gray.
Riordan says it has received 90 applications for admission in one day from girls at Mercy High. Riordan is expecting to accept about 150 girls.