Learn About Central Catholic High School from its founding in 1927 through today.
Shortly after the Most Reverend Hugh C. Boyle was elevated to the episcopacy, he began a secondary school expansion program in Pittsburgh.To support the development of centralized, well-equipped high schools, the Bishop organized a campaign in 1923 to raise funds. The first fruit of the campaign was the erection of Central District Catholic High School and faculty house in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. The new high school was dedicated by Bishop Boyle on 11 September 1927. On the following day 488 boys, from 42 parishes in the central section of the city, registered in the ninth grade, the only grade functioning that year. On the original faculty were fourteen Christian Brothers. In the 1950s, enrollment reached a peak of 1,800. A concentrated effort by the school Administration brought the enrollment down to a size more consistent with the physical facilities and modern educational trends.In 1978, Alumni Hall was opened. The building provided long-needed, expanded facilities for the school’s physical education, intramural and athletic programs. Academic facilities were upgraded with state-of-the-art biology, physics, and chemistry laboratories. Donated by Mr. & Mrs. John Ryan, Jr., the Ryan Science Center meets the demands of the contemporary science curriculum. In addition, some of the proceeds from the annual Viking Victory Auction were used to renovate classrooms and faculty offices, create a computer lab, and equip the building for computer technology programs.In 2000, the Blue & Gold capital campaign was established to renovate the athletic field, the old gym, and Alumni Hall. The campaign also provided a synthetic grass field to accommodate year-round usage. The remodeled old gym now includes Coaches’ Pavilion, a fitness complex, and the Peter J. Spadaro Performing Arts Center, accommodating the music and drama programs.In 2003, after 75 years, the building’s center tower was replaced. The former art and music area was renovated to house the Donahue Family Center for Excellence. This air-conditioned facility contains five rooms housing the Brother David Baginski, FSC Scholars Center, the Academic Discovery Program, the Writing Center, and the Technology Office. A new walkway in front of the building allows natural light into these rooms. In the spring and summer of 2005, the auditorium underwent a $1.8-million renovation and restoration, the generous gift of John ’56 & Mary Ita McGonigle and their sons, Kevin ’82 and Michael ’85.The newly renovated Clifford E. Brown Library, a state-of-the-art facility, opened in 2008 and allows students great opportunities for research and learning.In 2008, Central Catholic was incorporated with its own two-tiered Board of Directors who has responsibility for the governance of the school. To meet the ever-increasing demands of contemporary Catholic education, a new President/Principal administrative structure was established in 2009.
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