Description: In 1952, Rev. Christopher J. McCormack, Pastor of Saint Ann Church, recognizing the needs of a growing parish and community, announced plans to build a Catholic School. At the time, the community of Dongan Hills had no parochial school within its boundaries.
The parish owned the property on the corner of Cromwell Avenue and Jefferson Street and in June 1953 purchased an additional 50 x 90 foot parcel of land which enabled Fr. McCormack to move forward.
The architectural firm of Neil Jr. Convery designed plans for the new school and in May 1954, Fr. McCormack awarded the job to the construction firm of John Milnes. The tentative target date for the school to open was September 1955. It was announced that the school would accommodate 350 students and be staffed by the Sisters of the Presentation.
The fundraising phase of the plans was announced on October 16, 1954, when Fr. McCormack set $150,000 as the minimum amount needed to build the school. An 87 man fundraising committee headed by Arthur G. Dunn, Paul DiCrocco, and Frank A. Nolan, conducted a door-to-door campaign. In six short weeks they raised $163,000. Ground was broken and construction started, followed by the laying of the cornerstone on August 15, 1955.
The target date to begin the 1955 Fall term was met on September 12th when the school opened its doors. Mother Mary Aloysius, joined by Sister Mary deSales, Sister Mary Vincent, Sister Mary Cordis, and Mrs. June Haley, welcomed 270 children for kindergarten through the fourth grade. Young Michael Mazella, Jr. walked through the doors for the first time as a third grader in 1955. Father McCormack's vision had become a reality.
At the dedication, Francis Cardinal Spellman praised the foresight and leadership of Fr. McCormack and elevated his status to Monsignor and Domestic Prelate.
In 1980, Fr. Vincent Clyne, pastor at the time, added an auditorium which could accommodate 600 people. The next pastor, Fr. Lawrence Quinn, saw the need for a preschool and the rebirth of kindergarten. Again, fundraising ensued, and the vacant lot now houses a computer lab, library, teachers' lounge, nurse's room, and 2 preschool classrooms.
In 2005, Fr. John Kostek approved plans to bring St. Ann's into the 21st Century by renovating all the original classrooms with interactive Smart Boards, air conditioning, new desks, closets, and floors.
As important as the physical plant is, it is still the people who give this school its life and spirit. After 55 years, Saint Ann's continues to be blessed with a dedicated administration, faculty, staff, supportive parents, and wonderful children.
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Violations requiring correction within two weeks (Critical Violations)
Water not tested for lead as required. Elevated lead levels not remediated. School fails to use approved water source when indicated
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