A Catholic school in Huntsville Ala., the first elementary to integrate in Alabama, has broken ground on a new school building.
WHNT-TV reports that the new building for Holy Family Regional Catholic School will have 10 classrooms with updated technology, better safety measures and a campuswide desire for natural lighting throughout classrooms. The school has been planning for 30 years for the new facility.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Holy Family School’s Priest, Father Joe Lubrano. “We’ve needed it for a long time and it’s finally here.”
In 1963, the school, previously known as St. Joseph Mission School, became the first elementary school to integrate in the state of Alabama. When St. Joseph opened in 1956, it served only black students.
Seven years later, in the midst of the civil rights movement, white parents began sending their children to St. Josephs despite widespread opposition to integration.
The school became the first elementary school to peacefully integrate in Alabama.
In 1979, St. Joseph’s School merged with St. Mary’s School and the combined school, named Holy Family, was situated on the St. Joseph parish.
OneVoice, the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham magazine, says Holy Family has developed a $15.5 million building project for a modern educational facility that can support up to 350 students.
The new school will be built on St. Joseph parish property and will be constructed in phases so that classes can continue without interruption.