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A Strong History of Academic Excellence
For over 160 years, Saratoga Central Catholic School, formerly known as St. Peter's Academy, has offered a highly rated faith-based education. Below you can find a general history of our school.
For more information regarding the history of our school, please contact our Coordinator of Alumni Affairs:
Maria Izzo '84
Father Daniel Cull first outlined the plans for the purchase of the property on William Street, and renovated it from a house to a school. By the Fall of 1855, St. Peter’s School was in operation, the first pupils a handful of boys. Over the next several years the school grew slowly and expanded to the teaching of both boys and girls.
In 1862, the Sisters of St. Joseph were asked and accepted the educational mission at St. Peter’s School, now housed on the corner of Williams and Hamilton street (grades 1-8). The first floor of the building was divided into two schools, – a “select school” and a “free school”. The students of the free school received traditional instruction, while those in the select school included the study of various fine arts. St. Peter’s School became the first parochial school established in Saratoga County.
After a period of successful operation, twenty years to be exact, the school was closed and the Sisters of St. Joseph returned to their Provincial House. There has been no satisfactory explanation available regarding the closing of the school.
In 1901, through the zeal of the Reverend James Flood, the Sisters of St. Joseph were called back to Saratoga, and a new page was written in the school’s history. The New York State Department of Education recognized St. Peter’s School (grades 1-8) and St. Peter’s Academy (grades 9-12) as an accredited elementary and high school, with the first high school commencement exercise in June 1905.
The reopened school conducted classes in the basement of St. Peter’s Church. Kneeling benches and kneelers served as desks and seats. Within several years the Shays residence became the school building. In 1909, with expanding enrollment, one high school class was moved to the cottage of the resident sexton and by 1912 the entire high school was moved to the cottage. These two buildings (the cottage and sexton’s house) remained functioning as the school until the erection in 1926 of the present school building behind the church. The St. Peter’s Academy building was completed in January 1927. The school’s registration (grades 1-12) for that year was 300. Under Father Scully, the educational standards were raised and improved with the school being recognized by the University of the State of New York in 1927.
Visions for improved and greater opportunities for the pupils were carried on by Father Burns with the construction of the current high school separate from the elementary school. In 1953, St. Peter’s Academy opened the building on Broadway that is now called Saratoga Central Catholic. In 1976, St. Peter’s Academy changed administrative control from St. Peter’s Church to the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, becoming a Diocesan High School.
1976 – With strong community support and backing, St. Peter’s Academy transitioned from a Parish high school to a Diocesan high school signified by the name change to Saratoga Central Catholic. The new name reflected the expanded mission of the school from a parish to a regional high school encompassing Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties.
1988 – Under the Regionalization process undertaken by the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, grades 7 and 8 were added creating a Junior-Senior High School environment.
2005 – With further restructuring under the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, grade 6 was added creating the current Middle School and High School environment.
2013-2015 – The community, realizing the needs for major improvements and upgrades to a sixty year old building, successfully funded a Capital Campaign which replaced the sidewalks, the exterior lighting along Broadway, repaired the main entrance way, roof, chimney and upgraded the security and the wireless technologies in the building.