Saint Joseph Catholic School

127 N. Howes Street

Saint Joseph Catholic School as seen in 2014. 

Built in

The history of the school, according to the school

“In 1925, the Saint Joseph parish began building a Catholic school. It was designed in a Spanish colonial style with rustic tan-face brick, red sandstone trim and a red tile roof. It also had curvilinear parapets, balconettes, grand baroque double-staircase entry beneath an oriel window and a colored tile bas-relief of the lamp of learning.

“On September 26, 1926, Bishop Tihen blessed the $66,000 School that the Sisters of Loretto opened in the fall of that same year with an enrollment of 117 students. In 1945 a ninth grade was added to the school, and in 1955 the Sisters of Loretto constructed a $100,000 convent between the church and the school.

“With the school enrollment expanding, it was decided in 1965 to add four classrooms and a new gymnasium to the south side of the building, and the 1925 gymnasium was remodeled into classrooms and a cafeteria. When school opened in the fall of 1966 it had eight grades and 300 students.

“In the summer of 1999, ground was broken for a Junior High addition to the school. The additional space houses the Art Room, Science Lab and grades 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. A new school entrance, lobby area and office space were added and ready for occupancy in October 1999. In the spring of 2000 the second phase remodeled the lower level in the original school building to enlarge the cafeteria, the kindergarten rooms and the faculty lounge. Total cost for the building / renovation project was $3,800,000.00.

“The first 9th grade class to graduate from the new addition was the class of 2003. The last class to graduate from the new addition was the class of 2009. Saint Joseph School grade configuration for the 2009/2010 school year became K – 8th.

“Saint Joseph Catholic School follows the curriculum guides of the Archdiocese of Denver Catholic Schools and is a top performer among its schools. Students excel in Mathematics, Science, and Language Arts. The dedicated and stable faculty of certified teachers average fourteen years teaching experience and seven years at Saint Joseph’s alone. The students compete on fourteen teams in four sports in the Northern Colorado Independent League comprised of nine schools and boast numerous first and second place teams and individual finishes.”

– from the Saint Joseph Catholic School website

From the February 23, 1925 Fort Collins Sunday Courier

From the August 21, 1925 Fort Collins Express Courier


“The laying of the corner stone of St. Joseph’s parochial school took place Sunday afternoon at the site of the school, Howes street near Laporte avenue with a large crowd in attendance. The corner stone was laid with due ceremony and blessed by the Most Rev. J. B. Pitavel, D. D., retired archbishop of the Santa Fe Province. 

“The procession starting from the rectory on Mountain avenue led by the former archbishop and clergymen was joined by the parishioners and marched to the school building where ‘Miserere Mel, Deus’ and ‘Laudati Dominum’ were sung. The cornerstone was then blessed and prayers were offered. This was followed by the singing of the Magnificat, or Hymn of Thanksgiving.

“The procession then moved to the platform under trees near the building, where speeches were given. The Rev. Hugh L. McMenamin, rector of the Immaculate Conception, Denver, gave statistics of criminality in the country and pointed out that the great majority of crimes are caused by lack of Christian education. The remedy is Christian education of the youth of the country, which various Christian movements are attempting, one of which movements are the parochial schools.

“Dr. P. J. McHugh in a few introductory remarks summed up the work of the Fort Collins parish, and told of the building of the church and rectory, and now, without a single dissent, the building of the $60,000 parochial school. Alva J. Coates, co-ordinator, veteran’ bureau, C. A. C., told of the growth, purpose and usefulness of the Catholic school from the medieval days when the monks copies the Bible and classics and the early work of the guilds. 

“After the ceremonies and speeches, a lunch was served at the rectory to the visiting clergy and their guests. Clergymen present were the Most Rev. J. B. Pitavel, Rev. Hugh L. McMenamin, Father Smith, editor of the Denver Catholic Register, Father Froegel of Brighton, Father Hickey of Greeley and Father Ducharme of Loveland, the later two serving as deacons to the former archbishop. 

“A substantial collection was taken up for the completion of the school during the afternoon.” (The Fort Collins Express Courier, August 24, 1925)