St. Paul’s Catholic School opened its doors in September, 1961 under the leadership of Fr. Bentivoglio, with 2 grades. The faculty consisted of two lay teachers, teaching first and second grades. Within two years three nuns from Ireland joined the staff and each year more grades were added. Although the school closed in 1969, the parish re-opened the school in 1981 with an enrollment of 24 students, with combined grades. First and second grades were taught by one teacher, and third and fourth were taught by another teacher.
With the arrival of Fr. John Giel in 1992, the school had 52 students and started growing. Father was committed to Catholic education and he added one grade each year until eighth grade status was achieved. The first eighth grade graduating class was in May 1994. The school currently offers enrollment in classes from Preschool 3, VPK, Kindergarten through eight, with a formal middle school.
By 2005, the increasing population of the school warranted further expansion. The parish started a Capital Campaign to enlarge the church building and to add on to the school. By 2008, we had raised enough funds to start one of our two phase projects. We decided to begin our school expansion first based on the fact that we were competing for students with other private, charter, and public schools with newer and more state of the art facilities. Our case statement for this expansion included the following facts:
- We felt we needed to build a space for a state of the art science lab since we had had a small space in an existing classroom with no running water or workstations.
- We needed a new media/library center since we only had a cramped space that only could seat 24 students. Our accreditation standards called for seating at least 40 students in a school our size. Moreover, we lacked sufficient space for searing students at different grade levels, a space for reading and storytelling for our younger students and a space with computers where students could do on-line research.
- The then computer lab also had limited space and computer workstations were crammed together in a high traffic area space where there were many distractions. Storage was limited and there was no separate office area to house the file server or allow workspace for the computer teacher.
- The school also had no area for a dedicated art room where students could receive art instruction, store materials or display their work.
- Our music room was much too small and was in need of more storage space and better acoustics. We needed a much larger area to provide an interactive music program that is common in most other schools. We did not have storage for music materials, textbooks, or instruments.
- Our then limited kitchen facilities of the social hall did not enable us to prepare hot lunches for our students or staff. Additionally, the school had no dedicated space specifically designated as a cafeteria or a place for indoor activities such as dances or student assemblies.
The new construction of $3.2 million enabled us to build a new addition between our existing social hall, the two story building and the sports pavilion. This addition was attached to the existing social hall and housed and expanded kitchen and food preparation area and storage area so that we can provide our own food service for a variety of parish events as well as a daily program for school hot lunch. Our new addition to the school also included a new multi-purpose area separate from the parish hall, a cafeteria and a place where the school could hold assemblies. And the old administration building was renovated to house the new fine arts center providing space for a new and expanded music room and art studio.
The parish purchased a private house located next door to the school and renovated it for the new administrative offices for the school.
Today, St. Paul’s School facilities encompass six buildings and over 20 acres of parish land. In 2006, a track and soccer filed was built. The grounds also include a ball field and a sports pavilion.
Since the beginning St. Paul’s Catholic School has continued the commitment to develop the minds and values of their students and to provide a superior academic education based on gospel values.