Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Iowa
Mason City Centennial Issue
Monday, June 01, 1953, Section 7, Page

[In 1923] another parochial school was added, with the construction of the Holy Family Catholic School, started under the supervision of the Rev. R. P. Murphy in 1924 and completed Dec. 15, 1926, at a cost of $150,000. The school chapel was used for a year and a half as temporary church for the parish.

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Iowa
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Article & Photos by Julie Birkedal, Globe Gazette

Holy Family School Demolition Under Way

MASON CITY — A gym silent of children's voices for only weeks now stands no more at the Holy Family Catholic School. Plans have been in process for school demolition for some time. On Jan. 12, McKiness Excavating Inc., started work there, said Neal BOHNERT, Holy Family business manager. Its contract gives the firm 45 days for the project.

How long the project takes will depend at least partly on weather, said Bryan LUNNING, working at the site on Wednesday.

Asbestos removal was completed in December, Bohnert said. Cost of demolition and asbestos work is estimated at $120,000.

Several workers from McKiness finished cutting away the 1924 cornerstone at noon Wednesday. Decorative block bearing the school's name also will be saved, LUNNING said.

The cross from the top of the school, a set of limestone steps, pilasters from the front of the school and a Bible also were saved, BOHNERT said.

A number of stone and brick components from the former St. Joseph Catholic School also were preserved, including the doorway arch and stones bearing the school’s name.

Architectural stone and brick elements from the two former schools are expected to be incorporated into a sculpture on the Newman school campus, said Ed WINEINGER, architect, who has been involved with the concept along with artist David ROTTINGHAUS of Nora Springs.

On the northeast side of Holy Family School, two yellow backhoes with long extensions began biting away at the building’s fourth floor.

"I knew they were going to tear it down when they had our reunion," said Janice OPEN of Mason City. Members of her Holy Family class of 1956 celebrated their 50th anniversary and toured the lower floors of the school last summer. Upper floors were off limits due to safety concerns.

"It’s too bad, but it's in bad shape," she said. "It was kind of interesting to go back and see what it was like." Holy Family Catholic School initially provided a Catholic education to northside Mason City students from kindergarten through 12th grade. When the two Catholic schools combined as Central Catholic in 1973-74, the building was home to sixth through eighth grades, said Jodee BRYANT, administrative assistant at Newman Elementary. It became Central Catholic Childcare/Newman Daycare in 1986, according to Globe Gazette archives.

The daycare center moved to a new addition to the elementary school on the Newman Catholic campus in late November. Holy Family Catholic Church plans to create a parking lot for 116 cars on the school site "so that we can have off-street parking," BOHNERT said.

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Feb. 10, 2007

Feb. 10, 2007


Saint Joseph's Parish History
The Globe Gazette, Mason City
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011; updated December of 2014



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