Photo by Jay Huff
The garage in back bit the dust Tuesday morning.
The 97-year-old original St. Pat’s school building is going down, after years as a well-known feature on East Fourth near downtown North Platte. Workers from Cement Products of North Platte started demolition Tuesday morning.
In mid-May, salvageable items such as lights, desks, appliances, windows and stonework from the entrance were sold at auction and removed in a thorough process that lasted for more than a month.
Fr. Jim Golka of St. Pat’s Catholic Church said the demolition was a difficult decision.
“It served for many years. There is a lot of history there,” Golka said in April when the demolition was announced.
Golka said after years of informal consideration, the Catholic schools pastoral council and finance committee thoroughly discussed it. After a lot of prayer, they reached a consensus early this year.
Plans are underway to build a new family life center on the site, hopefully within two years, Golka said. The center would serve a variety of uses, from administration to faith-forming retreats to education.
Construction of the school building began April 13, 1916 and the school opened six months later, hailed at the time as the finest school building in the state. It replaced the original 1891 St. Pat's school, which was moved to the southwest corner of B and Sycamore, where the building still stands.
The small classrooms of the 1916 school became full over the years and in 1953, work began on the current St. Pat’s high school building at 500 So. Silber. Grades 9-12 moved to the new high school building in January 1955.
The old school building came to the end of its original purpose in 2000 with construction of the existing McDaid elementary school building on East E Street. It housed the Boys and Girls Club from late-2006 to early-2009, but the club eventually closed due to lack of operating funds.