Through the efforts of the Most Reverend J. Carroll McCormick, D.D., Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, plans were made for the expansion of facilities to serve secondary Catholic education in central and northern Cambria County in late 1960 and early 1961. Prior to this point, Bishop Howard J. Carroll had established St. Joseph Academy for Girls and Aquinas Hall for Boys, both in Ebensburg, in September 1959.
St. Joseph Academy, on Horner Street, welcomed its first class in September 1959 in the building that was the former St. Joseph Infant Home. One hundred forty-seven girls registered for the first school year. The building has since been converted into an apartment property.
Aquinas Hall, formerly the Ebensburg Inn, was built by David E. Park, head of the Crucible Steel Company, in 1900. Aquinas Hall stands on the 34 acre tract of land that is home to Bishop Carroll’s campus. Registration for the fall of 1959 showed an enrollment of one hundred fifty-one boys. Aquinas Hall is now home to Bishop Carroll’s growing International Students’ Program.
The new facility was named in honor of the fourth Bishop of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, Howard J. Carroll. Ground breaking ceremonies took place on March 8, 1961. Dedication was held on June 10, 1962, with the most Reverend John J. Krol, Archbishop of Philadelphia present. Bishop Carroll High School became the new identity for the merger of Aquinas Hall and St. Joseph’s Academy.
The campus includes playing fields and seven buildings. Six of these, an art area and band room, a science wing with biology, chemistry, and physics labs, three classroom wings with a home-economics department, and a chapel-library-computer room-main office area, are all inter-connected and arranged around a central courtyard. The seventh building, a gymnasium, is connected to the main building by two underground halls. Situated atop “Husky Hill,” the red brick and glass structures are designed to provide students and faculty with as many perspectives as possible to the surrounding countryside. The scenic splendor cannot help but inspire thoughts of the beauty and grandeur of God’s world.