History of St. Pius X
In the early 1950’s there was no Catholic High School between the Missouri River and St. Joseph. Parishioners in five parishes in the “northland” felt the need for students in their parish elementary schools to continue their Catholic education through the secondary level. Bishop LeBlond, the bishop of the St. Joseph Diocese, supported the idea. However, as always with Catholic education, money would need to be raised for a high school.
Through the leadership and determined efforts of four men, Frank Tiedtka, Robert Henehan, Francis Brand and George Stark, the dream was pursued. Going to the faithful parishioners of the five Northland parishes proved to be the solution to the problem. They set up the fund raising drive for a three-year pledge period and were able to raise the $500,000 needed to fund the first and only Catholic High School in the Northland- St. Pius X High School.
J.E. Dunn Construction Company was awarded the contract to build the new school. In the spring of 1956, Bishop John P. Cody, Bishop of the newly joined Kansas City/St. Joseph Diocese broke ground for the new building. Having begun the year in St. Michael’s grade school (now known as St. Gabriel’s), students moved into the new building in the second semester of the 1956/57 school years and the school was officially dedicated in April of 1957. The school held about 425 students. In 1962, due to the large number of students and the need for additional classroom space, the new three-story “science wing” was added, thus making room for 539 students.
Over sixty-five years later, St. Pius X High School still dares to be different. We are still the only Catholic High School north of the river. In 1997 we embarked on our first ever Capital Campaign. The $4.2 million raised in the campaign helped us update our classrooms, media center, chemistry lab, technology, commons area and cafeteria/kitchen, and also add a new atrium entry hall to be used for small gatherings and events. Still striving to provide our students with the best educational environment possible, we launched Phase II of our “Education for Life” campaign in August, 2003. The scope of work for this campaign included updating classrooms in our three-story wing (including our new biology lab), constructing a new student activity center (with a stage) that also serves as a practice gymnasium, locker rooms, and wrestling and weight rooms. These improvements were completed in February 2006, thus bringing the entire facility up-to-date.
Again, in 2017, major campus renovations were announced. St. Pius X embarked on a $7 million capital campaign to build a new Athletic Complex and renovate the former convent on campus. The campaign has been successful with over $6 million raised. The convent renovation is complete and the Athletic Complex is in use by students. The Athletic Complex is located less than a mile from the school’s main campus and includes a track, baseball field, softball field, tennis courts, and cross country trails. Additional projects at the site have continued, including additional parking; a multi-purpose building with restrooms, concession stand and storage; and we hope in the near future, field lighting. Bishop Johnston presided over a Blessing & Dedication of the Athletic Complex on March 29, 2019.
In addition to our new Athletic Complex, we have majorly renovated the SPX Stadium. The football/soccer stadium now features a turf field, LED lighting, a multi-purposed building with a viewing deck, and new bleachers. Permanent placement of the Press Box atop a building with additional restrooms and concession stand will be complete early this Fall.
Now, as in the past, each day serves as a reminder that our students are truly our most precious gifts. Within this place of learning, what is gained goes beyond academic excellence. At St. Pius X, those who are our future receive an education for life.
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